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Obama: I weighed SEAL raid risks, reward

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama ordered the commando raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after deciding the risks were outweighed by the possibility "of us finally getting our man" following a decade of frustration, he said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

The helicopter raid "was the longest 40 minutes of my life," Obama told CBS' "60 Minutes," with the possible exception of when his daughter Malia 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.

In the interview, Obama said 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 Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000. -- AP

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