News / USA

US: Bin Laden Would Have Been Taken Alive If Possible

John Brennan (L), assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney smile as they take the rostrum to speak about the killing of Osama bin Laden at the White House, Washington May 2, 2011
John Brennan (L), assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney smile as they take the rostrum to speak about the killing of Osama bin Laden at the White House, Washington May 2, 2011

President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism official says U.S. forces would have taken Osama bin Laden alive if they had the chance.

John Brennan told reporters at the White House Monday the U.S. team that conducted the raid on the compound in Pakistan would have taken bin Laden alive if he did not pose a threat to them.

Bin Laden was killed in a firefight with the U.S. forces, who swooped down in helicopters in the nighttime operation in Abbottabad, about 56 kilometers north of the capital, Islamabad.

Brennan described the death as a "strategic blow" to al-Qaida.

He said officials monitored the raid from the White House as it was happening, and he described it as an anxiety-filled time. He said the U.S. did not know with certainty that bin Laden was in the compound.

Brennan said U.S. authorities did not inform Pakistan of the operation until after U.S. forces were out of Pakistani airspace. He said a tense moment during the raid came when one of the helicopters was disabled.

He also refused to speculate on what kind of support bin Laden may have had in Pakistan.  

The Obama administration says the raid lasted less than 40 minutes.   

In a briefing early Monday, an official said the "extraordinarily unique" compound had two security gates, 3-5-meter-high walls topped with barbed wire, and a third floor terrace with a 2-meter-tall privacy wall.

bin Laden compound
A diagram of the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed - Courtesy U.S. Department of Defense


An official said the home was more than eight times larger than others in the area, had no telephone or Internet, and the residents burned their trash rather than putting it out for pickup. The official said the estimated value of the home was about $1 million.

U.S. intelligence officials concluded that a "high value target" was staying at the home of two brothers who had "no explainable source of wealth."

According to officials, bin Laden resisted the assault and was killed in a firefight, along with two of his couriers and one son. A woman, believed to be one of bin Laden's wives and who was used as a human shield, was killed and two other women were injured.

One of the American helicopters had to be destroyed because it experienced mechanical failure.

Local residents, awakened by the raid, said they had no idea bin Laden was staying at the compound.  Residents said they heard gunshots and watched from rooftops as flames leapt from the compound.  The area was later blocked off by Pakistani forces.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid