CIA air strikes have driven 9/11 al-Qaeda kingpins in Pak terror belt underground: Obama

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New York, Sept 11 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has alluded for the first time, that the CIA campaign of air strikes has driven two al-Qaeda kingpins in the 9/11 terror attacks, Osama Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, underground in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt.

"Capturing or killing Bin Laden and Zawahiri would be extremely important to our national security....It remains a high priority of this administration," the New York Daily News quoted Obama, as saying.

He further praised counter terror officials for a "very successful" offensive, which reportedly began in the last months of former President George W. Bush's administration, to "ramp up the pressure on al-Qaeda and their key leaders."

"And as a consequence, they have been holed up in ways that have made it harder for them to operate. "Bin Laden has gone deep underground. Even Zawahiri, who is more often out there, has been much more cautious," he claimed.

This year, Zawahiri reportedly put out few propaganda tapes after the air drone strikes increased, compared to 14 such tapes in 2009. (ANI)

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