CIA chief says U.S. feared Pakistan could undermine Laden raid

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The United States had doubts that Pakistan could undermine the raid against al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and kept the ally in the dark deliberately, local media quoted Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Leon Panetta as saying on Tuesday.

In his first interview since the raid that killed bin Laden, Panetta told the Time magazine that U.S. officials had feared Pakistan could leak word to the targets.

According to the interview, U.S. officials had considered expanding the assault to include coordination with other countries, notably Pakistan. But the CIA ruled out involving Pakistan early on because "it was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission."

"They might alert the targets," Panetta said.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday night announced the killing of bin Laden, the architect of the 9/11 terrorist strikes in 2001 that killed over 3,000 people. He said the death of the terrorist leader marks the "most significant achievement" to date in U.S. efforts to defeat al-Qaida.

The raid has been productive, said Panetta, adding that the U.S. team collected an "impressive amount" of material from bin Laden's compound, including computers and other electronics.

Panetta has set up a task force to act on the fresh intelligence. Intelligence reporting suggests that one of bin Laden's wives who survived the attack has said the family had been living at the compound since 2005, according to the report.

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