WASHINGTON— U.S. President Barack Obama will visit the Central Intelligence Agency on Friday to thank officers for bring down al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, the White House confirmed Wednesday. Obama will head to CIA's Langley, Virginia headquarters to thank officers "for the work they do every day to keep America safe and specifically for their excellent work in tracking down Osama bin Laden," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday aboard Air Force One.
He said Obama made the decision to visit the CIA "in the wake of the successful bin Laden mission," in which elite US commandos whisked into Pakistan by helicopter in the dead of night and killed the Al-Qaeda terror kingpin on May 2, ending the most elaborate manhunt in history.
"So this was a presidential decision that he wanted to make this trip," Carney added. The Washington Post reported that the agency flew new, highly sophisticated stealth drone planes on dozens of secret missions over Pakistan to monitor bin Laden's compound before US Navy SEALS killed him. The CIA was also reportedly using satellites, eavesdropping equipment and agency operatives based at a safe house in Abbottabad, the garrison city where bin Laden is believed to have lived for about five years until he was found. (KUNA)