Washington: The killing of Osama bin Laden in a covert operation in Pakistan last week has provided an opportunity to defeat al Qaeda in the Af-Pak region, US President Barack Obama has said.
However, he said that bin Laden's death was not an end to the war against terrorism.
"We have done a great job even before we got bin Laden in degrading their capacity. And we now have the opportunity, we're not done yet, but we've got the opportunity, I think, to really finally defeat at least al Qaeda in that border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan," Obama said in an interview to CBS news.
"That doesn't mean that we will defeat terrorism. It doesn't mean that al Qaeda hasn't metastasized to other parts of the world where we've gotta, you know, address operatives there. But it does mean we've got a chance to, I think, really deliver a fatal blow to this organization, if we follow through aggressively in the months to come," he said.
These US Special Forces, he said, not only killed bin Laden in the middle of the night, but they also had the presence of mind to still gather up a whole bunch of bin Laden's material.
It will be a "treasure trove of information" that could serve the US very well in the weeks and months to come, he said.
"It's just an indication of the extraordinary work that they did," he said.
"We are now obviously putting everything we've got into analyzing and evaluating' all that information. But we anticipate that it can give us leads to other terrorists that we've been looking' for for a long time, other high value targets. But also can give us a better sense of existing plots that might have been there how they operated and their methods of communicating," he said.
"All of this should help us continue to push harder and harder. And one of the things that I said when I came into office was we had to remember what our primary focus was. Who carried out September 11th and how do we make sure that we are laser-focused on getting them," Obama said.
"As nervous as I was about this whole process, the one thing I didn't lose sleep over was the possibility of taking bin Laden out. Justice was done. And I think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on American soil didn't deserve what he got needs to have their head examined," he said in response to a question.