By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
The CIA believes Osama bin Laden is still in Pakistan, and the spy agency is hoping to close in on him as that country's military cracks down on the northwestern tribal area where he is thought to be hiding.
CIA Director Leon Panetta told reporters after a speech on Capitol Hill Thursday that finding bin Laden remains one of the CIA's top priorities.
"I guess one of our hopes is that as Pakistani military moves in, combined with our operations, we may have a better chance to get at him," Panetta said.
The Central Intelligence Agency has increased the number of officers and recruited agents, or locals who provide information, in Pakistan, Panetta said.
"We have a number of people who are on the ground in Pakistan who are helping us provide targets and who are helping us provide the information that we really need to go after al-Qaida," he said.
He said the Pakistani offensive in the Swat Valley is making very good progress compared to Pakistan's past efforts to crack down on extremists. The Pakistan military says it has killed more than 1,300 militants during the offensive and reclaimed most of the region.
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