A former Obama administration official says al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden wanted to see President Barack Obama and General David Petraeus assassinated. But Michael Leiter has told NBC's "Today" show he didn't think that was bin Laden's highest priority, suggesting the terrorist leader dreamed of another large-scale, 9/11-type attack on the United States.
Asked whether bin Laden's aim of seeing President Obama assassinated was more of a "wish list" than a plot, Mr Leiter agreed.
The report by NBC news states that while he was hiding in his compound
at Abbottabad, Osama bin Laden " regularly ordered his subordinates to
plan new attacks, including assassinations of President Barack Obama and
General David Petraeus."
Navy Seals had grabbed computers and hard drives from the house where
Osama was found and killed. The report says "The materials did not
contain any operational plans, either for future attacks or past
attacks, but included "aspirational" plans for attacks that bin Laden
wanted to carry out but didn't have the wherewithal to do. There was
nothing to suggest any planning for attacks beyond those broad plans
disclosed in the weeks after the raid: assassinations of Obama and
Petraeus, attacks on tankers and mass transit and bombings planned for
anniversaries like the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror
attacks." (See report)
Mr Leiter served as head of the National Counterterrorism Center during the Obama administration. He was present with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House a year ago as they monitored the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden at a Pakistan compound.