News / USA

Obama Weighed Options Before bin Laden Strike

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Seated, from left, are: Brigadier Genera
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Seated, from left, are: Brigadier Genera

U.S. officials say President Barack Obama weighed several options before ordering the military assault that killed Osama bin Laden, and that the president's advisors were divided on which course to pursue.

The president opted against bombing the compound north of Islamabad where the al-Qaida leader had been hiding.  Officials said that plan would have been less risky to U.S. military personnel but would have made it difficult to confirm if bin Laden was present and killed.

U.S. officials say Obama also considered continuing to wait and monitor the site in order to be more certain of intelligence that strongly suggested the man at the compound was indeed bin Laden.  Obama ultimately authorized the military operation on Friday morning, saying "it's a go."

Details emerge

At a White House briefing on Monday, the Obama administration's counterterror chief, John Brennan, released details of the sophisticated airborne assault carried out by an elite U.S. military unit. A group of Navy SEALs slid down ropes from helicopters into the compound in the city of Abbottabad early Monday.  After making their way into the main building they shot bin Laden in the head during a firefight.

Brennan said there had been plans to take bin Laden alive.

Anxiety-filled

He called the 40 minutes that it took to complete the operation the "most anxiety-filled periods of time" for administration officials, including Mr. Obama, who was monitoring from the White House Situation Room. "Minutes," he said, "passed like days."

No American lives were lost in the operation.

Obama announced bin Laden's death in televised remarks at the White House late Sunday.

A U.S. counterterrorism official says the elite military unit confiscated hard drives, DVDs and documents following the raid.

Pakistan out of the loop

The Pakistan government was not informed of the mission until the helicopters were out of Pakistani air space, for fear they might be intercepted.  

Brennan suggested that bin Laden had benefited from some sort of support system in Pakistan because his compound was in Abbottabad, a military garrison town some 60 kilometers from Islamabad.  There had been persistent reports that bin Laden had sought refuge in Pakistan's lawless western border region.

Buried at sea, DNA proof

U.S. military officials said bin Laden was buried at sea after he was given traditional Muslim funeral rites, with his body washed and placed in a white sheet.

The officials said DNA testing showed nearly 100 percent certainty that the dead man was the al-Qaida leader.

Brennan revealed that President Obama, on word that the mission was successfully accomplished, said, "We got him."

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid