We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

President Obama talks to Steve Kroft in a "60 Minutes" interview aired last night. LANDOV/Press Association

Obama: bin Laden raid “longest 40 minutes of my life”

The US president says the risks of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden outweighed the risks – but it was a tense time.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has revealed he ordered the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden only after deciding that the risks were outweighed by the possibility “of us finally getting our man”.

The helicopter raid that preceded “was the longest 40 minutes of my life,” Obama told CBS’ 60 Minutes, adding the possible exception of when his daughter Sasha became sick with meningitis as an infant.

Monitoring the commando raid operation in the White House Situation Room a week ago, Obama said he and top aides “had a sense of when gunfire and explosions took place” halfway around the world, and knew when one of the helicopters carrying Navy SEALs made an unplanned hard landing.

“But we could not get information clearly about what was happening inside the compound,” he said.

Obama added that as nervous as he was about the raid, he didn’t lose sleep over the possibility that bin Laden might be killed. Anyone who questions whether the terrorist mastermind didn’t deserve his fate “needs to have their head examined,” he said.

Obama said bin Laden had “some sort of support network” inside Pakistan to be able to live for years at a high-security compound in Abbottabad, a city that houses numerous military facilities.

But he stopped short of accusing Pakistani officials of harboring the man who planned the September 11 terror attacks:

We don’t know who or what that support network was. We don’t know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government.


Watch: Obama’s 60 minutes interview in full >

Read: Pakistani PM denies moves to ‘hide’ bin Laden >

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.