US eyed Osama strike in 2007: Condoleezza Rice

Ex-secretary of state said US planned to kill Osama in Tora Bora region.

Updated: May 07, 2011, 13:19 PM IST

Washington: The United States drew up a plan to kill Osama bin Laden in 2007 in Afghanistan`s Tora Bora region, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said on Friday, confirming a New York Times report.

The administration of George W Bush considered bombing a meeting of al Qaeda leaders during the summer of 2007, in what would be the last chance to kill Osama before the 2008 Presidential Election, the Times reported.

Dr Rice, in an interview with ABC News to be broadcast on Sunday, confirmed the information.

“There was supposedly this meeting that would take place, perhaps higher level enough for him to come, but in the end it didn`t materialise,” Dr Rice told ABC.

Washington thought the al Qaeda chief would leave his hideout from somewhere in Pakistan to attend the meeting, reported the Times, citing military officers and former government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The meeting was to be held in the mountainous region of Tora Bora, along the Pakistani border, which was bombed in late 2001 by the United States. Osama was believed to be hiding in a network of caves in Tora Bora after the September 11 attacks on the United States. He was killed in a May 02 raid by US special forces on a fortified compound located in Abottabad, in the north of Pakistan.

Bureau Report