John Brennan 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and
Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the US President John Brennan said
that Osama bin Laden was involved in a firefight with US forces when he
was killed on Sunday in Pakistan.
Speaking at a White House press
conference about the operation, Brennan went into detail about the
operation in which Osama was killed, ranging from what information was
shared with Pakistan to the level of information US President Barack
Obama was able to view in real time during the operation.
White House official made clear, contrary to reports emanating from
Pakistan that the United States did not notify Pakistan of the operation
until US aircraft were safely out of Pakistani airspace, risking
engagement with Pakistani jet fighters that were scrambled during the
The Pakistanis, Brennan said, "had no idea who was in
their airspace ... thankfully, there was no engagement. This was done
well and no Pakistani forces were engaged."
Asked about details of the raid itself, Brennan said that bin Laden
likely used his wife as a human shield when US special forces soldiers
located him towards the end of the 40-minute raid. One of bin Laden's
wife was killed in the raid.
Obama, he said, was
in the White House situation room during the operation and was following
developments "in real time," though he would not expand on what that
Asked how bin Laden was able to live in Pakistan for so
long without authorities in that country being aware of his presence,
Brennan described the situation as one where bin Laden was "hiding in
"We're looking at how he was able to hold out there
for so long and if there was support in Pakistan that allowed him to do
that," he said, adding that "its inconceiveable that that [Osama bin
Laden] did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to
stay [there] for a sustained period of time."
question if there was a standing order to kill bin Laden or if efforts
were made to capture him alive, Brennan said "the goal was to prepare
for all contingencies. If we had an opportunity to take him alive, we
Intelligence information said bin Laden would oppose
attempts to capture him, Brennan added, "...and he did that. But we
were certainly prepared for the [remote] possibility of capturing him