News24

Raid was 'easiest' part of bin Laden op

2012-07-27 13:01

Washington - The US military raid that killed Osama bin Laden was the "easiest" of three steps that led to the al-Qaeda chief's death, the special forces commander who supervised the clandestine mission has said.

Admiral William McRaven praised President Barack Obama for ordering the raid and said the CIA deserved credit for finally tracking bin Laden down to a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

"Our piece of it, the military piece, of kind of what I look at kind of three components was probably the easiest aspect of the entire raid," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Wednesday.

"The two other pieces of this were the CIA's role," said McRaven, who heads up US Special Operations Command, without detailing exactly what the intelligence agency did.

"When the history is finally written and outlined and exposed on how the CIA determined that bin Laden was there, it will be one of the great intelligence operations in the history of intelligence organisations."

Obama's order led a team of Navy Seals to be deployed in helicopters to Abbottabad, a two-hour drive north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad, where bin Laden was killed in a shootout inside his home.

McRaven refused to answer a question on whether the military's mission was to kill bin Laden or capture him, but he said the commandos merely did their job and it was Obama, not the special forces, who issued the order to go in.

"This is not a small point. The fact of the matter is it was the president of the United States that ordered the raid," McRaven said, and replying "absolutely, he does", when asked whether Obama deserved credit.

The bin Laden raid, which was launched from neighbouring Afghanistan without the knowledge of Pakistani authorities on 1 May 2011, was one of 12 US operations that evening, but it "was a little bit more sporty", McRaven said.

Comments
  • skaapie.nku - 2012-07-27 14:28

    is he really dead?

      Mark - 2012-07-27 14:33

      Of course, skattie.

      dustin.mccrindle.5 - 2012-07-27 19:34

      No he's not dead. He just shaved his beard, cut his hair

  • pienaar.jordaan - 2012-07-27 15:07

    Interesting time of the release of this information. Obama on a road show for re-election. You can determine the "rules of engagement" when you are in charge.

  • MrAversion - 2012-07-27 15:07

    Lol @ 'shootout'. 70+ marines murdered one oke hiding with his wife. And this is a 'shootout'.

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-07-27 17:32

    easiest?! haha, only the yanks... you kinda botched that raid up 6 love. Just watch a program called, "last days of bin laden" something on those lines. What a stuff up, crashed helicopter, how many hours to get in and out, jeez like! Should have just let the real men do it, let the Brits SAS unit in.

  • mbulelo.pikoli - 2012-07-27 19:32

    What a campaign by mr Obama

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