The United States reserves the right to carry out raids outside its territory even if the Pakistani authorities say such operations are illegal, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Monday.
“Whenever we do have actual intelligence against someone who is responsible for thousands of American and other deaths… we’re going to take action and feel it’s within our right to do so,” Toner told a press briefing when asked to comment on Pakistan’s remarks regarding a U.S. operation to kill Osama bin Laden.
Bin Laden, responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that left about 3,000 people dead, was killed on May 2 in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, north of the capital Islamabad, during a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs. The al Qaeda terrorist network confirmed the death of its leader.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said in an address to parliament on Monday that his nation is “rightly incensed on the issue of violation of sovereignty as typified by the covert U.S. air and ground assault on the Osama hideout in Abbottabad.”
“We regret that this unilateral action was undertaken without our concurrence. Unilateralism runs the inherent risk of serious consequences,” he said. “Let no one draw any wrong conclusions. Any attack against Pakistan’s strategic assets whether overt or covert will find a matching response.”
Bin Laden’s elimination sparked a row inside the Pakistani security forces. The country’s leadership ordered an investigation to determine how the world’s most infamous terrorist was able to live within the country unnoticed. Islamabad dismissed the allegations that it had been aware of bin Laden’s whereabouts.
WASHINGTON, May 10 (RIA Novosti)