CIA Had Last ‘Precise Information’ on bin Laden in ‘Early 2000s’

By Evan Harris

Jun 27, 2010 10:02am

In an EXCLUSIVE interview on “This Week,” CIA Director Leon Panetta said the last time the CIA had “precise information” on Osama bin Laden was “the early 2000s.”

Where is bin Laden?

“He is, as is obvious, in very deep hiding,” Panetta said. “He’s in an area of the tribal areas of Pakistan, that is very difficult. The terrain is probably the most difficult in the world…”

“Can you be more specific?” host Jake Tapper asked.

“All I can tell you is it’s in the tribal areas…we know that he’s located in that vicinity,” Panetta said.

“The more we continue to disrupt Al Qaeda’s operations – and we are engaged in the most aggressive operations in the history of the CIA in that part of the world – and the result is we are disrupting their leadership,” he said.

“We’ve taken down more than half of their Taliban leadership, of their Al Qaeda leadership. We just took down number three in their leadership a few weeks ago. We continue to disrupt them. We continue to impact on their command and control. We continue to impact on their ability to plan attacks in this country,” he said.

“ If we keep that pressure on, we think ultimately we can flush out bin Laden and Zawahiri and get after them,” the CIA chief insisted.

When was the last time the CIA had good intelligence on Osama bin Laden, Tapper asked.

“It’s been a while. I think it almost goes back to the early 2000s in terms of actually when he was moving from Afghanistan to Pakistan that we had the last precise information about where he might be located. Since then, it’s been very difficult to get any intelligence on his exact location,” Panetta said.



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