A former Obama administration official revealed today that late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden wanted to see President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus dead. This latest revelation comes one year after Bin Laden was killed in an overnight raid led by an elite Navy Seal team.
Michael Leiter told NBC's Today show he didn't think that necessarily was Bin Laden's highest priority, suggesting the terrorist leader dreamed of another large-scale, 9/11-type attack on the United States and that Bin Laden's aim of seeing Obama assassinated was more of a "wish-list" than a plot.
Bin Laden was living with his family near Pakistan's version of West Point, and not in a cave in the mountains as many had guessed. The Pakistani army was already accused of playing both sides in the campaign against militancy, providing some support against al-Qaeda, but keeping the Afghan Taliban as strategic allies.
Operation Neptune Spear was ten years in the making, gathering intelligence and getting clues here and there. But in September 2010, the CIA began to zero in on a heavily secured, three-story compound on a dirt road in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Two dozen SEALs, some wearing helmet cameras, had flown into Pakistan from nearby Afghanistan and landed in Bin Laden’s front yard at 11 p.m. local time on a moonless night.
Two SEALs found Bin Laden in his bedroom blocked by two screaming women. One of the commandoes pushed the women aside and the SEAL behind him shot Bin Laden in the chest and eye, killing him instantly.
“For God and country — Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo,” he radioed his commanders, using the code word for success. “Geronimo EKIA” — Enemy Killed In Action.
It’s been one year since U.S. commandos flew into the Pakistani army town of Islamabad and killed the world’s number one terrorist. Now questions are being raised as to what involvement the Pakistani government had in hiding Bin Laden.
According to the Associated Press, Pakistan has failed to answer tough questions over whether its security forces were protecting the world's most wanted terrorist.
Partly as a result, fall out from the raid still poisons relations between Washington and Pakistan, where anti-American sentiment, support for Islamist extremism and anger at the violation of sovereignty in the operation abounds.
The Pakistani government initially welcomed the raid that killed Bin Laden in his three-story compound, but within hours the mood changed as it became clear that Pakistan's army was cut out of the operation. Any discussions over how Bin Laden managed to stay undetected in Pakistan were drowned out in anger at what the army portrayed as a treacherous act by a supposed ally.
The Pakistani government has been tight-lipped over the year and still many questions have yet to be answered.