Custom Search

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Officials: SEALs thought bin Laden went for weapon

Bin Laden dead

Blood on the floor of one of the rooms at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan
OSAMA BIN LADEN was unarmed when commandos burst into his room and shot him dead, the White House has revealed, raising questions about whether the US ever planned to capture the terrorist leader alive.
The Obama administration, meanwhile, was still debating whether to release gruesome images of bin Laden's corpse, balancing efforts to demonstrate to the world that he was dead against the risk that the images could provoke further anti-US sentiment.
After killing the world's most wanted terrorist, the US Navy Seal team in just minutes quickly swept bin Laden's compound for useful intelligence, making off with a cache of computer equipment and documents.
The CIA was hurriedly setting up a taskforce to review the material from the highest level of al-Qaeda's leadership.
The documents provide a rare opportunity for US intelligence. When a mid-level terrorist is captured, his bosses know exactly what information might be compromised and can change plans. When the boss is taken, everything might be compromised but nobody knows for sure.
CIA director Leon Panetta said bin Laden did not have time to speak to the Seals who killed him.
"I don't think he had a lot of time to say anything," Mr Panetta said in an interview with PBS NewsHour. "It was a firefight going up that compound... I think it - this was all split-second action on the part of the Seals."
Mr Panetta said that bin Laden made "some threatening moves that were made that clearly represented a clear threat to our guys. And that's the reason they fired".
The question of how to present bin Laden's death to the world is a difficult balancing act for the White House.
Mr Obama told Americans that justice had been done, but the White House also assured the world that bin Laden's body was treated respectfully and sent to rest in a sombre ceremony at sea.
Mr Panetta underscored the fact that Mr Obama had given permission to kill the terror leader.
"The authority here was to kill bin Laden," he said. "And obviously, under the rules of engagement, if he had in fact thrown up his hands, surrendered and didn't appear to be representing any kind of threat, then they were to capture him. But they had full authority to kill him."

No comments: