Leon Panetta Target of Attempted Attack?

Defense secretary's plane misses truck explosion on runway in Afghanistan.
2:29 | 03/14/12

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Transcript for Leon Panetta Target of Attempted Attack?
After a tense week for the US and Afghanistan there was another white knuckle moment that nearly turned into a global crisis today a truck on the runway just as secretary of defense. Leon Panetta was about to land -- moments later. The driver Afghan who has worked as a translator for American forces went up in flames. ABC's -- -- and is in Kabul to tell us what he has learned about this latest drama today Mitt. -- US and Afghanistan is suffering from a cascade of crises. And the Defense Secretary came here today to personally reassure the troops the mission is still on track. But his own trip with almost -- -- -- -- Iraq. Leon Panetta arrived unannounced and under tight security but almost immediately a major security breach. As -- C seventeen approached an Afghan translator wearing a partial marine uniform. Stole a pickup truck from a British soldier the truck ran over the soldier breaking his pelvis. Before speeding down the runway toward -- plane. But the pickup then fell into a ditch the driver got out and apparently lit himself on fire. Military security rushed to the scene the Afghan jumped on their truck. The military says the -- had no explosives but the threat to Panetta was still serious. Just because there were no explosives in the car doesn't mean that it couldn't do very serious damage anything hitting an airplane at a very high rate of speed. Especially with the mass of a small pickup truck could do very very serious damage. This is the first visit by a senior US official since an American soldier massacred sixteen Afghan civilians. -- US officials were nervous even before Panetta's arrival. US troops usually keep their weapons when they meet the Defense Secretary. But today both US and Afghan soldiers were ordered to leave their weapons outside. Inside Panetta acknowledged the growing distrust between Americans and their Afghan allies. We'll be challenged. -- our enemy. Will be challenged by ourselves. We'll be challenged by the -- of war itself. Network goes on its President Obama insisted today the withdrawal of US troops will not be accelerated we're gonna complete this mission. We're gonna do it responsibly. The 38 year old staff sergeant believed to be responsible for the massacre was flown out of Afghanistan and I. And they -- the Afghans say even though he's gone they expect this trial to be speedy and transparent. If the two sides are going to re gain some of that lost trust.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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