Ex-CIA Operative Comes Out of the Shadows

Tells 60 Minutes U.S. Needs Partners On The Ground In Pakistan To Take Out Taliban And Al Qaeda

CBS All Access
This video is available on CBS All Access
Crumpton also believes the U.S. cannot win without capturing or killing the enemy's leaders, especially Osama bin Laden. That was something he tried very hard to do a decade ago. For two years before 9/11, Crumpton had CIA officers tracking the al Qaeda leader inside Afghanistan.

"There were a couple of occasions in particular where we had no doubt he was there and we could have gained access to him," Crumpton said.

"By gained access you mean you could have killed him?" Logan asked.

"Killed him or captured him," he replied.

A video of bin Laden in Afghanistan almost ten years ago is the last time the CIA had a confirmed visual bead on the head of al Qaeda. The video image was made by an unarmed, unmanned aerial vehicle in September 2000. Back then, Crumpton could never get authority to kill the terrorist leader.

"So, why is it that so many politicians and leaders today try and play down the importance of killing Osama bin Laden?" Logan asked.

"Perhaps because we haven't succeeded yet," Crumpton responded.

Amrullah Saleh is hunting bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar. And they are hunting him: just days before our interview, Saleh's deputy Abdullah Laghmani - the second-ranking intelligence official in Afghanistan - was assassinated by a suicide bomber.

Saleh said they managed to get so close to Laghmani by waiting for a long time.

"They could be waiting for you," Logan remarked.

"Sure, and if they kill me, I have told my family and my friends not to complain about anything, because I have killed many of them with pride, so, I am a very, very legitimate target, very legitimate, because when I stand against them, the desire to stand against them is part of my blood. I believe they are wrong," Saleh said. "Bin Laden cannot engender a vision for this world or for this country. Mullah Omar is the same. I am not saying this to flatter the U.S. politicians or public. The enemies we are fighting, they are truly forces of darkness. "

"There will be an attack in the homeland. And sadly I think we face that prospect in the future. I think we'll be hit again," Crumpton predicted.

Asked if such an attack would be on the scale of 9/11, he said, "It's certainly possible. Or perhaps even greater."

"There's no doubt in your mind about that?" Logan asked.

Crumpton's reply? "None."

Produced by Howard Rosenberg