Holder unsure if enhanced interrogation techniques led to bin Laden's death

Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that he didn't know if the use of enhanced interrogation techniques led to the discovery of Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan.

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) asked Holder at a House Judiciary Committee hearing if any intelligence used to track bin Laden had been obtained during prison interrogations using controversial techniques such as waterboarding.

Holder responded that there was a "mosaic of sources" that eventually led to bin Laden.

Lungren pressed, "Can we be assured that any intelligence was a result of the interrogations? Was it any piece of that mosaic?"

"I don't know," Holder said.

The California Republican questioned the legality of the Pakistan operation if the means to obtain the intelligence did not adhere to international law.

Holder said that if the information had been a result of illegal questioning techniques, the time between the questioning and the attack on bin Laden would have been "sufficiently long" to legally justify the Obama-directed mission. The attorney general emphasized that numerous sources were used to track bin Laden, repeating the "mosaic" nature of the intelligence obtained by the CIA.

In light of bin Laden's death, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) asked Holder if the three provisions of the Patriot Act set to expire should be renewed. The provisions include obtaining roving wiretaps on suspected terrorists, access to business records and the "lone wolf" provision, which allows law enforcement to track suspicious foreigners who are not connected to an organized terrorist group.

Holder said that "We [at the Department of Justice] never want those provisions to expire."

More in News

Death row inmate dies after appeal from pope

Read more »