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.