Obama Offers Rationale for 'Risky' Bin Laden Raid

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President Obama explained his rationale for the May 1 raid on 9/11-mastermind Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound in a candid interview with CBS News's "60 Minutes" which aired Sunday.

The president said he didn't think twice about ordering the killing of bin Laden, adding that his second thoughts were about putting U.S. commandos "in harm's way."

"It was a very tense situation," Obama described his emotions as he and other senior officials watched the mission unfold from the White House Situation Room.

Obama said he knew the operation would be risky, but getting bin Laden outweighed all of the risks.

"As nervous as I was about the whole process, the one thing I didn't lose sleep over was the possibility of taking bin Laden out," the president said.

Obama also told "60 Minutes" that he had seen the photos of the al Qaeda leader's corpse, stating definitively, "It was him."

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are investigating who in the Pakistani government knew the al Qaeda leader was living in the compound.

Bin Laden had been living in Pakistan for years, raising questions about who was helping him. 

A senior Pakistani official admitted to ABC News that based on years of experience, "elements of Pakistani intelligence, probably rogue or retired, were involved in aiding, abetting and sheltering the leader of al Qaeda." 

Others, including Obama, have also voiced their suspicions about Pakistan's involvement.

"Come on guys, fess up. If you knew he was there, come on. Tell us," ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Jack Cloonan said. 

"We think there had to be some sort of support network for bin Laden inside Pakistan," the president said.  "But we don't know who or what that support network was."

"We don't know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government, and that's something we have to investigate," Obama said.

Meanwhile, Pakistani media have reported the name of the CIA's station chief in the capital city of Islamabad.  The move comes as Pakistan tries to retaliate against the U.S. for invading their sovereign territory.

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.