CIA gets 'new leeway' for Bin Laden operations


The US President Bush has given the CIA "new leeway" to do whatever is necessary in covert operations to destroy Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, a US official said today.

The order allows the CIA to do "what is necessary to bring down al Qaeda and its leadership," the official said on condition of anonymity. "It's pretty broad-ranging."

"These things all contain rules and regulations - what you can do, how you can do it, who you can enlist," the official added.

"This one grants new leeway. There are fewer obstacles to taking down al Qaeda's leadership."

The Washington Posttoday, quoting unnamed officials, reported on Sunday that the order instructed the CIA to attack bin Laden's communications, security apparatus and infrastructure and focus lethal covert action on newly identified vulnerabilities.