Skip to main content

Obama: U.S. would go after other high-profile targets in Pakistan

By the CNN Wire staff
President Obama on Friday applauds CIA employees for their work in tracking down Osama bin Laden.
President Obama on Friday applauds CIA employees for their work in tracking down Osama bin Laden.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • President Obama tells the BBC that U.S. security is paramount
  • The U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden has strained relations with Pakistan

(CNN) -- Given the chance, the United States would go after high-value terrorism targets in Pakistan or elsewhere in the same way it took out Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama made clear in an interview with the BBC broadcast Sunday.

"We are very respectful of the sovereignty of Pakistan, but we cannot allow someone who is actively planning to kill our people or our allies' people, we can't allow those kind of active plans to come to fruition without us taking some action," Obama said in the interview conducted last week. "And our hope is and our expectation is that we can achieve that in a way that is fully respectful of Pakistan's sovereignty. But I had made no secret. I had said this when I was running for the presidency, that if I had a clear shot at Bin Laden ... that we'd take it."

The raid by U.S. Navy SEALs in the early hours of May 2 on a compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, killed bin Laden and four others. It has strained U.S. relations with Pakistan, which accused the United States of disrespecting their country's sovereignty and invading Pakistan's air space during the secret bin Laden raid.

"We've killed more terrorists on Pakistani soil than anywhere else, and that could not have been done without their co-operation," Obama told BBC. "But there's more work to do. And my expectation is, is that over the coming months, this can be a wake-up call where we start seeing a more effective co-operative relationship."

Last week, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tried to calm the tension during a previously planned trip to Pakistan.

Taliban tests Pakistan-U.S. tensions

Kerry told Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other officials in Islamabad on Monday that the United States need not apologize to Pakistan for the raid but that it it was in both countries' best interest to mend the frayed relationship.

Part of complete coverage on
Q&A: al Qaeda's power struggle
The appointment of a former Egyptian army lieutenant as the interim leader of al Qaeda suggests a power struggle within the Islamist organization.
Jihadists eager to avenge Osama
From Morocco to the Himalayas, online forums associated with al Qaeda overflow with declarations that global jihad will continue.
Who are al Qaeda's most wanted?
He was its founder and strategic guiding force, but now that Osama bin Laden is dead, who are al Qaeda's most wanted leaders?
U.S. to speak to bin Laden's wives
The United States will be given access to Osama bin Laden's wives, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told CNN Tuesday.
Children recall bin Laden's compound
Children in Abbottabad said they noticed oddities at bin Laden's compound but were oblivious he was hiding in the city.
Exclusive: Bin Laden's young bride
Amal al-Sadah was "a quiet, polite, easygoing and confident teenager" who came from a big, conservative family in Yemen.
Roots of terror untouched by death
As the death of Osama bin Laden reverberates around the world the root causes of extremism are apparently largely being ignored.
Al Qaeda threats, terror plans surface
Saber-rattling al Qaeda warnings against the U.S. emerged as the killing of Osama bin Laden continued to yield a trove of intelligence.
 
Quick Job Search