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Bin Laden mission was a big gamble for Obama: official

Washington , Wed, 04 May 2011 ANI

Washington, May 4 (ANI): The mission that led to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death was one of the toughest decisions US President Barack Obama has ever had to make, according to an official.


Obama's chief counter terrorism advisor, John Brennan, explained how difficult it was for Obama to give the go ahead on the operation that ended in hunt for Bin Laden.


He said after months of studying satellite photos of the compound, Central Intelligence Agency analysts concluded there was only a 60 to 80 percent chance bin Laden was really there.


In the photos, a man could be seen coming out of the main building and walking around the courtyard as if for exercise, but it was impossible to tell whether he matched bin Laden's height.


Photo interpreters analyzed the pattern of daily life and determined the family in the main building had the same number of members as bin Laden's family.


"The president had to evaluate the strength of the information and then made what I believe was one of the most gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory," the CBS News quoted Brennan, as saying.


That explains the tension on the faces of the president and his top advisers as they followed the mission from the White House Situation Room.


They were listening to real time reports relayed by CIA Director Leon Panetta and from Vice-Admiral William McRaven, head of the Joint Special Forces Command, in Afghanistan.


While the hunt was going on, a point came when 25 minutes went by, but Panetta heard nothing from McRaven, and the president heard nothing from Panetta.


What was supposed to be a 30- to 35-minute operation was now pushing 40.


Panetta, in his interview, sketched the scene in the Situation Room as the tense final minutes of the raid played out. (ANI)


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