WASHINGTON DC: Five years after US special forces killed Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama says he hopes that in his last moments the terror mastermind realized Americans had not forgotten about 9/11.
In an interview with CNN broadcast on Monday, Obama marked the anniversary of what many see as one of his presidency’s greatest achievements: ending the long hunt for the illusive Saudi-born al Qaeda boss.
US special forces killed bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
“Hopefully, at that moment, he understood that the American people hadn’t forgotten the some 3,000 people who he killed,” Obama said.
Obama discussed his decision to carry out the raid despite imperfect intelligence.
“It was clear to me that this was going to be our best chance to get bin Laden,” Obama said.
“If in fact we did not take the action, that he might slip away and (it) might be years before he resurfaced.
“We knew it was going to cause some significant blowback within Pakistan and if it wasn’t bin Laden, the costs would outweigh the benefits,” the president continued.
“Having weighed all that, I thought about the 9/11 families and their continuing pain and sense that it was important for us to bring him to justice.”
Obama leaves office in January, with al Qaeda significantly diminished by drone strikes and somewhat eclipsed by its offshoot, the so-called Islamic State group.