Washington, Oct 4: US President Barack Obama hoped to put Osama bin Laden on trial, if the Al-Qaeda leader had surrendered during the CIA raid in Pakistan in May 2011.
In the book titled ‘The Finish,’ journalist Mark Bowden revealed that Obama said he thought he would be in a strong political position to argue in favor of giving bin Laden the full rights of a criminal defendant if the terror group leader went on trial for masterminding the 9/11 attacks.
“Frankly, my belief was if we had captured him, that I would be in a pretty strong position, politically, here, to argue that displaying due process and rule of law would be our best weapon against Al Qaeda, in preventing him from appearing as a martyr,” Obama is quoted saying in an interview with Bowden.
According to Fox News, Bowden said that Obama believed that ‘affording terrorists the full rights of criminal defendants would showcase the US’ commitment to justice for even the worst of the worst.’
U.S. officials have said the Navy team was ordered to capture bin Laden if he surrendered or kill him if he threatened them, the report said.
Bowden asserts that the SEALs could have taken bin Laden alive, but had no intention of doing so, it added.
According to the report, the new revelations may provide political fodder for Republicans who have criticized the Obama administration for trying to bring terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and overseas to trials in U.S. courts. (ANI)