Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said there is no question that the United States is safer with Osama bin Laden, the architect of al Qaeda, dead, though he said there is no way to completely destroy the network.
Panetta's assessment came just days before the one-year anniversary of the U.S. commando raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that ended a manhunt for the al Qaeda founder that began following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
"Having been involved in operations even before bin Laden, it was clear that there is no kind of silver bullet here to suddenly be able to destroy al Qaeda and that includes going after bin Laden," Panetta told reporters Friday after a meeting with defense counterparts in South America.
"The way this works is that the more successful we are in taking down those that represent their spiritual and ideological leadership, the greater our ability to weaken their threat to this country."
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security last week warned of the possibility of terrorist attacks leading up to and after the anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of bin Laden. There is no specific, credible terror threat, the agencies said.FULL STORY