Obama aides were divided on bin Laden raid

By REUTERS
May 3, 2011 10:11

 
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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama held a crucial meeting last week in which his advisers debated three options for dealing with top-secret information about a luxury compound in Pakistan where they thought Osama bin Laden might be hiding.

At a two-hour meeting in the ultra-secure White House Situation Room, the team discussed the pros and cons of a raid on the compound by a small group of elite US forces, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The two other alternatives were to conduct a strike or to wait for information that might lend greater clarity on whether the al-Qaida leader was indeed holed up at the fortress-like compound outside of Islamabad, the official said.

Obama's advisers were split at the Thursday meeting and the president took a night to think about the decision, the official said.

On Friday morning, just before leaving to visit tornado-hit Alabama, Obama revealed to a small group of aides that he had decided in favor of an immediate raid, the official said.

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