June 28, 2010
Editor’s note: More evidence the CIA asset is dead and buried.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The United States has not had good intelligence on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, in years, Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, admitted on Sunday.
He also gave a sobering account of the war in Afghanistan, saying the Taliban seemed to be strengthening with a stepped-up campaign of violence, even as US-led forces undermine the Islamist movement with attacks on its leadership.
Of greatest concern, he said, was al-Qaeda’s reliance on operatives without previous records or those living in the US.
“We are engaged in the most aggressive operations in the history of the CIA in that part of the world, and the result is that we are disrupting their leadership,” Mr Panetta told ABC television’s “This Week”.
The rare assessment from the US spy chief comes as President Barack Obama builds up US forces in Afghanistan to prop up the government and prevent al-Qaeda from returning. Mr Panetta said only 50 to 100 militants were believed to be operating inside Afghanistan.