Washington: Speaking candidly about the severity of the risks involved in the operation to take out 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, United States President Barack Obama said that it was only after the terrorist’s dead body landed on Afghan soil safely did the celebrations begin and states that it was a ‘uniquely complicated’ operation with high stakes.
Speaking exclusively to CNN on the fifth anniversary of bin Laden’s death, Obama said that his advisors had raised the issue of the major risks involved in the top secret operation but added that he didn’t consider aborting the mission, even when it started with a downed helicopter.
“My initial concern there was extraction. That if something happened to the helicopter that we could make sure that we got our guys out,” he said, pointing to the backup helicopters that had been prepared as part of their “plan B.”
“Nevertheless, it gave you a little jolt. I think it reminded you that no matter how well you plan, there’s always going to be something that comes up. And we were operating inside of Pakistan. But these guys had been through a lot of harrowing moments,” Obama said.
Asserting that it was a uniquely complicated operation because the stakes were so high he added that the entire episode was so high strung that nobody cheered or nobody high fived, because they couldn’t be sure at that point.
He stated that it wasn’t until the helicopters had landed in Afghanistan with bin Laden’s body “that all of us breathed … a sigh of relief.”
However, the alleged involvement of Pakistan of hiding bin Laden remains a mystery even though there has continued to be speculation that the government was aware of bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made strong claims that senior officials in Islamabad knew about the hideout location bin Laden in Pakistan, asserting that it was too much of a coincidence that the ‘unusual-looking house’ where the wanted terrorist was hiding, was surrounded by retired military professionals. (ANI)