Terrorism experts on bin Laden, one year after death
This Sunday - one year after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, "Face the Nation" looks at the War on Terror with experts Peter Bergen, author of the upcoming book, Manhunt, and TIME Magazine's Graham Allison, David Ignatius of the Washington Post and former top U.S. Security official and now CBS News Correspondent, John Miller.
It was just a year ago that the top secret mission that would change history began. "At 2:00 p.m., Obama entered the Sit Room for the final meeting with his national security team as 'Operation Neptune Spear' commenced. At 2:05 p.m.,. (then CIA Director) Leon Panetta began one more overview of the operation," writes terrorism analyst Peter Bergen in the latest issue of Time Magazine. "The Black Hawks carrying the SEALs approached Abbottabad from the north-west... Up in his top-floor bedroom, bin Laden had become a victim of his own security arrangements," he writes.
A year after the death of bin Laden, new information has come out about the daring raid that killed the terrorist mastermind and many experts are reassessing the threat posed by bin Laden's al Qaeda.
One amazing fact that has come out is that the decision to launch the risky operation was not unanimous and it was shrouded in the utmost secrecy. " On April 28, Obama chaired a final meeting in the Situation Room in which he asked each adviser what they would do and took an up-or-down vote on whether to launch the raid. Despite clear 'no's' from Gates and Biden, after a night of reflection, Obama told (National Security Advisor Tom) Donilon 'it's a go,'" writes Graham Allison in the cover story of this week's Time Magazine.
David Ignatius of the Washington Post, who got a firsthand look at some of the documents taken in the raid, wrote that bin Laden was "a terrorist leader who was fixated on finding a way to assassinate top U.S. officials." He called bin Laden "the lion in winter" because the terror leader, he wrote, "was hidden in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, pacing in his courtyard, watching television, dictating messages to his wife.... He lived in a constricted world, in which he and his associated were hunted so relentlessly by U.S. forces that they had trouble sending the simplest communications."
But this week, the government warned that the terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks, the attack on the USS Cole, the bombings of US embassy in East Africa, and a slew of attempts on the US Homeland is still dangerous.
"We have no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qa'ida, are plotting attacks in the United States to coincide with the 2 May one-year anniversary of bin Ladin's death," says a newly released National Security Bulletin sent by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
"However, we assess that al-Qa'ida's affiliates and allies remain intent on conducting attacks in the Homeland, possibly to avenge the death of bin Ladin, but not necessarily tied to next month's anniversary," according to the Bulletin sent to local law enforcement.
A year later, what have we learned from the raid and the death of bin Laden? Is the U.S. safer from the threat of terrorism? Is Al Qaeda still a lethal enemy or has bin Laden's death ended the threat? These will be among the topics discussed as authors Peter Bergen, Graham Allison of Time Magazine, The Washington Post's David Ignatius and CBS News's John Miller, who interviewed bin Laden as a correspondent for ABC News and then became a top counter-terrorism official with the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, join Bob Schieffer to Face the Nation.
Check your local listings so you know when to tune in Sunday morning.
- Robert Hendin
Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.Follow on Twitter »
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