Osama followed 'phenomenal security' at Pak hideout

Osama followed 'phenomenal security' at Pak hideout

Qaeda leader was relaxed and confident about his safety

Speaking at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, John Brennan, Assistant to the US President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said the al-Qaeda chief maintained high level security and secrecy at his hideout near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

“He (bin Laden) was there for six years. To our knowledge, he never left that compound once he got there. The people that were out of the compounds were, most of them never left either. You have a couple of folks who basically served as his interlocutors with the outside world and provided the type of support that he needed,” he said.

Brennan said Osama was relaxed in his Abbottabad hideout and confident about his security there. However, he added that this does not mean there weren’t some elements in Pakistan which knew about bin Laden’s presence.

“So this is something that I don’t know how many people in al-Qaeda, in the senior leadership ranks, knew exactly where bin Laden was. But he is someone who knew that if he... let it be known of his whereabouts... his days were going to be numbered. I think he was — he became, then, confident and relaxed in Abbottabad. I think he was totally taken by surprise when our brave SEALs confronted him that night,” Brennan said.

‘Utter destruction’

Seeking “utter destruction” of al-Qaeda, the US has chalked out a strategy to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat the terror network and its core leadership in the Af-Pak region, where they have found a safe haven.

“We need to dismantle the core of al-Qaeda, its leadership in the tribal regions of Pakistan, and prevent its ability to reestablish a safe haven in the Pakistan- Afghanistan region,” Brennan said.

“We seek nothing less than the utter destruction of this evil that calls itself al-Qaeda,” Brennan said, laying out the Obama administration’s plan to battle al-Qaeda in the era after Osama bin Laden.

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