Washington: Terming the killing of Osama bin Laden as the most significant achievement against al Qaeda, a top White House official on Sunday said the US is now looking for his deputy Ayman al Zawahiri, who is likely to be the new chief of the terror outfit.
"Al Zawahiri will be the next number one terrorist that we're looking for in the world. But we have a broad and global effort," the National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told the CNN in an interview.
Donilon said the information gathered from the compound where bin Laden was living is that he was also engaging in a strategic and operational leadership as well, which makes the action last Sunday even more significant in his view.
"This was the most significant achievement against al Qaeda and our nation's efforts against al Qaeda over the last ten years. But we have to remain vigilant. And we are remaining vigilant. The amount of intelligence we got as a result of the raid, in addition to taking out bin Laden, is really extraordinary," he said.
Navy SEALs on Monday raided bin Laden's walled compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan and killed him.
Donilon said the US forces basically went to Al Qaeda's commander's headquarters in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
"They entered the compound and were fired upon. They had to breach several walls and doors to get to where Osama bin Laden was. At no point during the course of this operation did Osama bin Laden indicate that he was prepared to surrender," he said.
The messages that have come back to the United States from around the world, is that this was a just action, that in fact this was a just action against a man who had committed murder, not just in the United States but around the world, he said.
"The other message that's come back has been interesting, from a strategic point of view, a step back, is a message of United States carrying out here over the course of two administrations, a persistent, deliberate and dedicated effort to achieve its goals. The message is that the United States will carry out and execute now what it says it's going to do, and it has the capability to do so," Donilon said.