President Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan praised the mission that killed Osama bin Laden as a “gutsy call” and defended the continued hold on releasing photos or video from that operation.
“Clearly, it was a momentous day in U.S. history,” said Brennan in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
“We're going to make sure that we are not going to let down our guard and we're going to stay extra vigilant in fact during this period of time,” he said, ahead of Monday’s one-year anniversary of the operation that killed bin Laden in Pakistan.
The deputy national security adviser said there was “no credible reporting” of any “active plot under way to coincide with the anniversary of the Bin Laden take down”
“But the counterterrorism community is used to making sure that we are as vigilant as possible to guard against any efforts on the part of al Qaeda or other terrorist groups to mark such a day,” he said.
Brennan was also asked about the administration’s seal on any pictures or photos taken during the bin Laden raid.
“First of all, there is no doubt whatsoever that bin Laden is dead. I think by all accounts, it was a very successful raid on that compound in Abbottabad,” said Brennan.
“What we don't want to do is put out anything that’s going to unnecessarily incite emotions on this issue. These photos were confirmation for the government that it was bin Laden. And so, therefore, we believe that it's unnecessary to put something like that out,” he added.
President Obama decided last year, shortly after the operation to not release photos of the slain leader to the public.
On Thursday, a federal judge rejected a watchdog’s request to compel the administration to release photos of bin Laden’s corpse. According to Reuters, the Defense Department reported that it does not have any photos of bin Laden’s body, while the CIA refused to comply with the request, citing security concerns.
Brennan was also asked to comment on an Obama campaign video featuring President Clinton praising Obama’s decision to authorize the raid. The ad questions whether Mitt Romney would have approved the operation to kill bin Laden.
“I don't do politics. I'm not involved in the campaign,” Brennan said. “All I know is that president made the decision to carry out the raid in bin Laden when he was presented with the circumstantial evidence that bin Laden was there.”