Washington – U.S. President Barack Obama has described the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as the “most important single day” of his presidency.
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Peter Bergen on Monday night, Obama said: “Hopefully at that moment, he (bin Laden) understood that the American people hadn’t forgotten the some 3,000 people who he had killed” in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Speaking on the fifth anniversary of bin Laden’s death, Obama gave details on the raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan.
The U.S. president stressed that he prefers to have a direct policy in fighting terrorism without having to send U.S. troops similar to what happened in Iraq.
The idea of “sending 100,000 troops to invade every country where an organization like this appears going be counterproductive and, in some ways, feeds the kinds of ideology that we’re fighting,” he said.
When asked about the use of drones in the war on terror, Obama shied away from responding to criticism.
“It became so easy to use them without thinking through all the ramifications,” he said. “What we’ve tried to do is make sure that we are accountable at the highest levels for how we’re using Predators.”
Talking about the risk of the Bin Laden operation and reminded that former President Jimmy Carter had taken a similar risk in trying to free U.S. hostages in Iran — and failed — Obama responded: “if I hadn’t thought of it on my own, it was raised by a number of my advisors.”
Still, he said that he didn’t consider aborting the mission.
Obama said that in the years since bin Laden’s killing, the U.S. has worked systematically to destroy al-Qaeda.
The ability of organizations like ISIS or al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to carry out attacks against the U.S. is much lower, he added.