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The Path to Bin Laden; Interview With Condoleezza Rice

Aired May 6, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. We're live from Ground Zero in New York City with breaking news tonight about the path that led U.S. intelligence to Osama bin Laden.

A phone call last year between bin Laden's courier and a friend of his -- this is a new report coming from Bob Woodward in "The Washington Post." It just came out tonight. The phone call went as follows.

I'm just going to read it to you. The friend, who we have reported before, was already under surveillance, the most trusted courier for -- friend of the most trusted courier from Osama bin Laden said to the courier: "What's going on? We have missed you."

The courier reportedly said -- quote -- "I'm back with the people I was before," followed by a pause. The friend responded, "May God facilitate."

And with that exchange, an important break in the search for bin Laden -- the call got U.S. intelligence the courier's cell number. And they tracked him to the compound in Abbottabad. The courier had gone to great lengths to stay under the radar. In the same report in "The Washington Post," we learned that the courier would drive 90 minutes away from the compound before he would even put a battery in his cell phone on or turn it on to make a call. They were that concerned about tracking of cell phones.

Meanwhile, a new statement from al Qaeda today making an ominous pledge, confirming that its leader, Osama bin Laden, is dead, by the way, but also saying the terror will continue. In the statement that was posted on several jihadist forums online, al Qaeda renewed warnings of attacks against the United States and suggested there's already a push to choose bin Laden's successor. We will have more on that later tonight.

In other breaking news, there's also -- already been a U.S. strike against at least one of the key al Qaeda figures who could make a bid for that leadership. Tonight, we learned a United States military drone fired a missile some time within the past 48 hours in Yemen aimed at the U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. That's a picture of him there. We're going to have much more on this in just a little bit.

First, we want to get you up to speed on the other latest developments in the killing of bin Laden, a strong statement from Defense Secretary Robert Gates today, saying that bin Laden's death could be -- and I quote -- "a game-changer" that could have a major impact on the war in Afghanistan.

Gates said that while talking with service members in North Carolina. President Obama was in Fort Campbell, Kentucky today also speaking to hundreds of U.S. troops and met privately with the special ops forces involved in the raid on bin Laden's compound. He met with that Navy SEAL team. Also present there was a dog involved who works with the Navy SEALs who was in on the raid. And we will tell you more about that dog later on in the program.

And a new look inside the White House from Sunday night after the raid. On this video released by the White House today, you can see the president and high-level members of the administration. And we can hear Vice President Joe Biden on the phone calling congressional leaders and talking to White House staff, President Obama congratulating CIA Director Leon Panetta as they shook hands. Watch this.



The reason I'm calling is to tell you we killed -- we killed...

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I'm proud of you. You guys did a great job.


COOPER: Fascinating new perspective from Sunday night after the raid, after they learned the raid was successful.

For the entire week that's followed right up until now, the reports have been pouring in, new details all the time, some of them conflicting, about what actually happened during that Navy SEAL operation that killed bin Laden.

To cap off this extraordinary, historic week, we wanted to take just a few minutes and look at the timeline that has now emerged one piece of the puzzle at a time.


COOPER (voice-over): We now know that Monday, around 1:00 a.m. local time, four special top-secret helicopters flew from Afghanistan to Abbottabad, Pakistan. Operation Neptune Spear had begun. There were about two dozen special operations commandos from the Navy's elite SEAL team involved.

ERIC GREITENS, AUTHOR, "THE HEART AND THE FIST: THE EDUCATION OF A HUMANITARIAN, THE MAKING OF A NAVY SEAL": SEALs, as you know, go through extraordinarily difficult military training. It's considered the hardest military training in the world. And, for this operation, there was relentless practice.

COOPER: The team's target, this walled compound, which had been under CIA surveillance for months. It was the home of Osama bin Laden's most trusted courier, a Kuwaiti named Abu Ahmad.

The sprawling complex had protective walls as high as 18 feet, two security gates, a series of internal walls and a three-story main house with few windows and a third-floor terrace with a seven-foot- high privacy wall.

Most telling, a tall man had repeatedly been spotted pacing in the compound's yard, doing prison yard walks.

JOHN BRENNAN, U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: There was nothing that confirmed that bin Laden was at that compound. And, therefore, when President Obama was faced with the opportunity to act upon this, the president had to evaluate the strength of that information and then made what I believe was one of the most gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory.

COOPER: As the helicopters reached the compound, the commando team faced a major problem.

One of the helicopters, apparently a stealth aircraft whose existence had previously been unknown outside military circles, malfunctioned and was forced to make a hard landing inside the compound. None of the SEAL team was injured, and the assault on the compound began.

Bin Laden's courier began firing at the SEALs, but he was quickly killed. We now know it was the only time anyone shot at the commandos. On the first floor of the compound's main building, the SEAL team shot and killed the courier's brother. As they moved up the stairs to the upper floors, one of bin Laden's sons rushed out at them. He too was killed.

We now have been told that bin Laden himself was spotted peeking out from a room on the third floor. The SEALs fired, but missed as bin Laden ducked back inside. The commandos rushed to the third floor and found bin Laden in a bedroom with his wives and several small children. He was shot once in the chest and once in the head, just above his left eye, a double-tap in military parlance. Osama bin Laden was dead.

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: If he had surrendered, I think -- attempted to surrender, I think we should obviously have accepted that, but there was no indication that he wanted to do that. And, therefore, his killing was -- was appropriate.

COOPER: This video from ABC News shows the bloody aftermath. Bin Laden was unarmed, but officials say he may have been reaching for a weapon nearby. Inside the room, bin Laden's wife Amal al-Sadah rushed the SEALs and was also shot. She survived. But another unidentified woman was killed elsewhere earlier in the raid.

In total, five people were killed, including bin Laden. The SEALs used a variety of techniques to positively identify bin Laden's remains, even having one of the SEALs lay down next to his body to gauge his height. Inside the White House, where the operation was being monitored in real time, President Obama and his top advisers waited anxiously for word on bin Laden's fate. It finally came with the words "Geronimo EKIA," enemy killed in action.

BIDEN: Good job.

OBAMA: Good job, national security team.

COOPER: Back the compound, U.S. officials now say the SEALs seized a treasure trove of material, audio and visual equipment, hard drives, computers, and more than 100 data storage devices possibly containing invaluable information about the inner workings of al Qaeda.

They also destroyed much of the damaged chopper. This amateur video claims to show fires and an explosion at the compound on the night of the raid. The entire operation, from the time the SEALs landed in the compound to when they finally took off with bin Laden's body, took only 38 minutes.

We're told the Pakistani military scrambled jets in response to the attack, but the commandos were already out of Pakistani airspace. Bin Laden's body was taken to the USS Carl Vinson for DNA tests and further identification, and then buried in the Arabian Sea.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The respect that was shown to him and his body was far greater than the respect that Osama bin Laden showed to the victims on 9/11 or any of his other victims. And that's because who we are.

So we feel very comfortable with the fact that we took extraordinary measures to show that respect to the traditions of the Islamic faith.

COOPER: Three thousand five hundred and nineteen days after 9/11, the manhunt for the world's most wanted terrorist finally came to an end.


COOPER: Well, as we mentioned in the piece, one of the Navy SEALs was asked to lay next to bin Laden's corpse to compare heights.

In "The Washington Post" that is breaking this story tonight, there was a quote about that one, one we hadn't heard yet, from the Situation Room Sunday night. President Obama reportedly turned to one of his advisers upon hearing about the Navy SEAL lying next to Obama (sic) and said -- quote -- "We donated a $60 million helicopter to this operation. Could we not afford to buy a tape measure?"

Joining us from Washington tonight, senior White House correspondent Ed Henry, and CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend, a member of the CIA External Advisory Committee.

Ed, those comments by defense Secretary Gates today, that the death of bin Laden could be a -- quote -- "game-changer in the war in Afghanistan," what's -- what are we to make of that? Does that mean there might be news on the timeline of the U.S. starting to pull down or draw down troops?

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think it may mean an acceleration of bringing more troops home faster come July, which is really what the president has talked about as a turning point in this mission for some time.

When he double down and had a surge of troops -- and we now have 100,000 on the ground -- he said July of this year would be the turning point. Defense Secretary Gates is known as someone who is very cautious. Let's remember that this very week, he was one of the people counseling the president behind closed doors not to release those bin Laden photos of his corpse.

So, this is someone who doesn't roll the dice, if you will. And, in fact, Secretary Gates is leaving his post in June. But you can bet he will have a big say in those troop levels. And for him to say this could be a game-changer, I think it's a clear signal. It doesn't mean it's a certainly, but it means now a clear signal the administration is wondering, can we bring a lot more troops home faster than we thought?

COOPER: Yes. He also emphasized that it's not clear yet what impact the -- the killing of bin Laden would actually have on al Qaeda and al Qaeda's relationships with the various Taliban groups which the U.S. is now currently engaged in a war with.

Fran, what do you make of this raid in Yemen on the leader of the -- of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is kind of a splinter or an aspirational offshoot group, al-Awlaki? Clearly he's been on the U.S. radar a long time. Do you think this is linked to the bin Laden killing or do you think this is an operation which has been just in the pipeline for a while?

FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Anderson, I don't think that the targeting of al-Awlaki comes out of the information that U.S. -- the SEALs got out of bin Laden's compound.

That said, I think we do have to -- I think it does suggest that there's a larger strategic plan here. I mean, it's -- they took out the head of al Qaeda in bin Laden. But now you're talking about -- it appears to be at least a broader plan, a broader strategic plan to look at taking out the leadership of al Qaeda more broadly.

And so, al-Awlaki, who has been probably the next most charismatic leader, best known in terms of worldwide recognition, including in the United States -- he's also the greatest direct threat in terms of al Qaeda leadership to the United States. And so, for a lot of reasons, the fact that both of these things happened in the same week suggests that this was all part of a broader plan that had been in the works, that as you -- they were in a sequence, these operations. COOPER: It certainly sends a message, Ed, and I'm sure the message that White House wants to send, and probably all -- on all sides of the aisle want to send, is that the U.S. isn't kind of resting on this one victory in killing bin Laden, that they're going after al Qaeda aggressively.

TOWNSEND: That's exactly...

HENRY: Absolutely. Yes, I'm sorry. I don't mean to step on you, Fran.

COOPER: Ed, go.

HENRY: But the bottom line is, you're right, Anderson, is that they want to show that they didn't just kill bin Laden and then say, OK, game over, mission accomplished, as we were talking about at Ground Zero last night.

The fact of the matter is that al Qaeda is still strong, Taliban. You can name all of these various groups. And, specifically, as Fran is talking about Yemen, that has been one of the real concerns of this administration. When you think back to the underwear bomber in Detroit a couple of Christmases ago, that was all cooked up in Yemen, not in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan.

So, just because you kill bin Laden doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels. Instead, the U.S. is going to have to be very aggressive in the months and years ahead. This is not over, by any stretch of the imagination.

COOPER: Well...

TOWNSEND: And, Anderson, I would say to you...


COOPER: Yes, not just the underwear bomber, the USS Cole as well.

Sorry. Go ahead, Fran.

TOWNSEND: No, the people who ought to take real message from this is Zawahri and Mullah Omar. The sort of whole message here is, if you're the leadership of al Qaeda, you're on this target list, and we are aggressively pursuing you. And, so, if you're Zawahri, you're pretty worried right now.

COOPER: Ed, as we look at pictures of President Obama at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, today talking to troops and then he later met on with the Navy SEAL team, there's going to be an administration briefing tomorrow on the bin Laden raid. We have just gotten these new details now from Bob Woodward's reporting tonight in "The Washington Post."

But do we expect to learn a lot more details tomorrow? HENRY: Yes, I was told by one senior official we can expect that they're going to get into more detail about how much intelligence they really got at bin Laden's compound. This is going to be tomorrow afternoon at the Pentagon, that it's not going to be a defense official.

It's going to be a senior intelligence official coming out and giving reporters more details about exactly what -- when they describe it as a treasure trove of data, the thumb drives, the computer hard drives, what did they really get? We have only really heard the broad brush. We're expected to get more details there.

And I think it's also interesting when you think about the timing of it. Why would they do a briefing like this on a Saturday? Well, Tom Donilon, the White House national security adviser, is going on four of the Sunday shows, including CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," four of the five Sunday shows.

And you can bet he's going to be aggressively pressed by anchors like Candy Crowley about what you have been talking about with the narrative and how it changed this week for the White House, some of the details about whether bin Laden had a gun or not.

If you come out on a Saturday and put out some new morsels about intelligence, all the great things maybe the U.S. got at the compound, it maybe shifts the stories on the eve of those Sunday shows.

COOPER: Interesting. Interesting.

Ed Henry, appreciate it, Fran Townsend as well.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter -- @AndersonCooper is the address.

Coming up, more on the breaking news, the new details about the trail that led to bin Laden, how the CIA kept watch on bin Laden's compound for months.

Plus, dozens of people with connections to the compound arrested in Abbottabad by Pakistan authorities. Our Nic Robertson is there on the ground. We are going to talk to him in just a few minutes.

Also ahead tonight, confirming that it was in fact Osama bin Laden who was killed. You have heard about the DNA. Now we have a fascinating look at the facial recognition technology that we understand was also involved in this. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to be here to kind and walk us through that. It's -- it's really interesting technology.

And, later, the military's top dogs -- a dog was actually a member of the team, the SEAL team that got bin Laden. Get this. That dog got to meet the president today. And like the Navy SEALs, the dog is remaining anonymous. Coming up, we're actually going to take a look at how man's best friend contributes to the military.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, there's the breaking news tonight from "The Washington Post" about a phone call last year that finally got a track on Osama bin Laden's most trusted courier. It was a call between the courier and a friend of his who was already under surveillance.

"The Washington Post" also first reported that the CIA monitored bin Laden's compound for months from a safe house in Abbottabad. There are new details from "The New York Times" tonight about the rented house where CIA officers and agents behind mirrored glass used high-tech equipment to study the compound, where they would see a man take walks through the courtyard. They called him the pacer, but they could never confirm that the pacer was, in fact, bin Laden.

Now that he's dead, Pakistani intelligence officials are trying to learn more about the compound, arresting dozens of people in that city, trying to find out if they have al Qaeda connections.

Senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us now live from Abbottabad, Pakistan.

So, Nic, U.S. agents, CIA officers were almost literally living next door. You have to wonder, how did they manage to escape detection in the middle of a Pakistani neighborhood?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It would be hard, but you obviously have to think that perhaps they were using Pakistanis nationals or people who looked like Pakistani nationals to come and go from that house, try and have a regular routine.

I would say -- and if you look at this video that we shot around the compound, you get an idea there are perhaps about maybe a dozen or so houses that are within 50 to 100 yards of bin Laden's compound, and a couple of them, really the roofs and terraces actually overlook his compound.

And then maybe moving back a couple of hundred yards, you have two or three, four dozen more houses that would have a good line of sight of his compound. So, the CIA would have had quite a selection, and, as we know, the neighborhood -- the neighbors there didn't spot bin Laden. So, maybe the CIA were able to work carefully and get away with it, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. And according to a number of reports, they were trying to use a lot of high technology, and probably even secret technology, to try to hear what was happening inside the house, what people were saying.

You can bounce sound devices off windows, but apparently none of that really worked. And according to this "Washington Post" report, Nic, they actually were trying to get a -- when they saw this -- the pacer, they tried to get a sense of how tall the pacer was, but it was very difficult. They could only have a certain range that the person was in, because it was known to U.S. authorities that Osama bin Laden was taller than the average person.

It seems though, Nic, Pakistani officials are taking action now, making some arrests in the area today. What have you heard about that?

ROBERTSON: They are. They have been arresting people, anyone who has had any connection with that compound, gone in or out.

Just thinking about what we have read in "The Washington Post," about trying to analyze the height of bin Laden, we have stood on the roofs of some of the compounds, some of the nearby buildings that overlook that compound.

And when I read that analysis in "The Washington Post," it gives me to think that those images were perhaps taken from above, and not horizontally, trying to look towards the compound, very hard from any of the vantage points to see in.

And if you have a problem gauging somebody's height -- between 5'8'' and 6'8'' was the best estimate one of the analysts could come up with -- it suggests to me these were pictures taken from above, perhaps taken by satellite. That's guesswork.

But what the Pakistanis have been doing here is arresting anyone who has been in and out of that compound. They want to know, even if they just sold milk or sold meat to the bin Ladens, do they have any other nefarious connections? Did they know it was the bin Ladens? Did they support them, facilitate them? Do they have ties to al Qaeda?

Were they -- do they have even al Qaeda sympathies? And that's why all these people have been arrested, several dozen in the city, going on into the late evening hours, Anderson.

COOPER: Nic Robertson, appreciate it. Nic, thank you very much.

So, just how does a CIA operation like the one involving bin Laden come together? How does it work? There's a lot of stuff that is still secret, obviously, but there's a lot of stuff that is in the public domain.

Robert Grenier is a former director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. He joins us now.

Robert, thanks for being with us.

According to "The Times" and "The Washington Post," the CIA operated this safe house near the compound, listening, photographing, watching. They supposedly observed behind some sort of one-way glass, so that no one could look at them, but that they could see out.

Publicly, I mean, what does this tell you about the operation? What can you publicly say about an operation like this?

ROBERT GRENIER, FORMER CIA OFFICIAL: Well, it strikes me that it's at least possible that too much has been said about this already publicly.

I would caution that there are lots of stories flying around, some of which seem very dubious to me. Now, whether this is true I have no idea, I certainly have no idea. I can only speculate as to the thinking behind this. But, clearly, given what has been revealed thus far about what was known and, more importantly, what was not known about who was precisely in that compound and what precisely they were doing, there would have been value in having 24-hour eyes on that compound from a horizontal viewpoint.

I think that it would be very important, if you could get it, to have full information on the pattern of activities in and out of that house, who was coming, were there any activities that were not consistent with the apparent status of a family living in a compound.

COOPER: In terms of this attack on -- a reported attack, the reported drone attack on Awlaki, how important do you think it is for U.S. authorities to continue the use of drones, not only in Yemen, but also in Pakistan?

GRENIER: Well, drones are a very important tool when we're dealing with ungoverned space or space that is beyond the effective reach of the U.S. government.

And that's true of certain parts of Pakistan, at least in the context of a very important target like bin Laden. And it's certainly true of large parts of Yemen. Now, the White House has said that this raid or this strike supposedly against al-Awlaki in Yemen had nothing to do with the activities in Pakistan.

And I strongly suspect that that is true. You know, it's very easy to put two disparate facts together and think that there's a link between them. One of the things that I used to say, back when I ran the Counterterrorism Center and a high-profile event would occur was that, let's remember this is just one more day in the war on terror.

We may see something very significant on the 1st of May, but there was months of work day in, day out that led to that point. And then abruptly thereafter, the activities go back under the surface and we don't see what's happening once again.

I suspect the timeline for Yemen was a very separate one, had nothing to do with Pakistan.

COOPER: You said you find a number of the reports that you have heard dubious. Do you -- which ones in particular?

GRENIER: Well, you know, in the immediate aftermath of the attack, we heard lots of things about this compound, how it was highly unusual, heavily fortified, anomalous in the area where it was located, and that it clearly indicated that there was something unusual going on here and that it had unusual residents or it was constructed there for some special purpose.

And, frankly, I just think that's ridiculous. From all that I have seen, this is a very typical compound. If I -- looking at the ground photography that we have seen in the newspapers now, I wouldn't have given it a second look. And I have spent a lot of time in Pakistan. And I have spoken to friends who have spent a lot of time in Abbottabad, and they absolutely agree with that. From the stories at the time, I thought this must be some local version of the Taj Mahal. Clearly, it was not that.

So, it's just a long way of saying that I think there's a natural tendency to exaggerate certain aspects of the story, and I think we all -- we need to take things with a real grain of salt.

COOPER: Yes. We have been trying to do that as much as possible.

Bob Grenier, appreciate your expertise. Thank you very much.

Coming up next on the program tonight: one of the high-tech tools used to identify bin Laden's body. Dr. Sanjay Gupta shows us how facial recognition software works. Plus, more of my interview with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- her take on the death of Osama bin Laden.


CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We all assumed he was in some cave in the tribal areas. That was the -- the thought. That he was in what's essentially a suburb of Islamabad was something of a surprise.


COOPER: And President Obama visited today with the Navy SEALs who raided bin Laden's compound. He also met the dog that was at their side during the raid. That's right. There was a dog during the raid -- ahead, a look at how dogs are used in secret military missions like this one.


COOPER: And welcome back.

We're coming to you live from Ground Zero tonight -- a remarkable view of Ground Zero. The red, white and blue structure is the one they used to call the Freedom Tower. It's now called the One World Trade. It's going to be about twice that size. It's going to be 1,776 feet tall.

As the camera pans over you just see, this is on active construction site. All night long there, you can hear probably the jackhammers behind me. This is -- they are working as hard as they can to build as fast as they can now that all the disagreements have been settled over. This is the view from the World Center Hotel here in Lower Manhattan.

The reason that I'm wearing a mike like this is not because I am trying to be like Britney Spears, it's because this is an active construction zone. It's very noisy behind me, and this mike hopefully cuts down some of the noise that you've heard over the last couple of nights if you've been watching our broadcast.

As we said earlier, there's going to be a hearing at Pentagon where CIA officials are expected to release new details about the intelligence found at Osama bin Laden's compound -- in papers, computer hard drives and other electronic storage devices. We're also expecting to hear new details about how they identified bin Laden's body.

In addition to DNA analysis, which we know about, we know they also used facial recognition technology. It's a term you probably heard before and we've heard a lot this week certainly. We want to know what it really means and how it works. So, we asked chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to show us.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Your face, my face, it has various landmarks that are really important. That's how this works. Think of those as peaks and valleys on your face that really define what it is.

Let me show you over here. This is video of me. And look at the specific measurements that are taking place here, the distance between the eyes, for example. The distance between the nose, at the top and at the bottom -- and on the lips as well, that could give you some indication. Someone has scars, has a mole, those can be little clues, well.

The technology in some cases can be so good it can even distinguish between identical twins, even plastic surgery might not fool this technology, again, because some of these measurements, for example, the depth of your eye socket, those things do not change.

(voice-over): And we don't know what specific technology was used to identify bin Laden, so we started with the likely one, comparing a recent picture --


GUPTA: -- to a database of images that already exist.

RASKIN: Right now, it's analyzing that image. We're going to query the watch list now.

GUPTA (on camera): OK.

RASKIN: Yes. So, it came with matches. We have two matches they came up. Two of your images actually matches to the image we just took live. And there's a score that goes along with them.

GUPTA (voice-over): The matched photos are given what are called similarity scores. In my case, the scores were in the low 70s. That's out of 100. It means there's a high probability that the image taken of me is a match for the images of me already in the database.

(on camera): That's fantastic. It takes, what, 10 seconds or so to make that match?

RASKIN: Yes, 15 seconds.

GUPTA (voice-over): But we found out the system is not full- proof.

(on camera): So, we're going to try to fool the system a little bit here. Kind of low tech, I'm going to put a baseball hat on and some sunglasses.

No matches. It seems to fool it. Does that surprise you?

RASKIN: No, no, because half your face was obscured and this is a really important region. So, if it's blocked off, you know, it's going to make a difference.

GUPTA (voice-over): Remember, having access to the space between the eyes, the depths of the eye sockets -- all those facial landmarks, they're important.

Next, we tried getting a match using images captured from a live web stream. It's another common face detection method.

(on camera): Is that good?

(voice-over): It did not work either.

RASKIN: Yes, it's not finding any matches -- so, which means that the lighting could be uneven or something like that.

GUPTA: This is a really important point, because you have so many images of me. When I put my face in front of the camera, it actually did not recognize it's the same person.

RASKIN: Right. It could be -- you know, if we had thousands of images, it could increase the accuracy.


COOPER: It's interesting -- I'm joined now by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It's interesting that the machine has difficulty, you know, with making the recognition. I understand you tried to do it with a match on your brother.

GUPTA: That's right. You know, my brother, we look similar, but not exactly alike. So, I want to see how --

COOPER: How old is he?

GUPTA: There's about a 10-year age difference. So, yes, so that's part of the reason as well. But, you know, there's a lot of similar facial features. So, I know we have the picture here.

But one of the things that's interesting in this particular technology, looking for very specific things that sort of create this grid on the face and then they -- you know, these specific things like where the top of your eyes are, where the tops of mouth, the corner of the mouth sit, even unique characteristics of your ears can help make that distinction.

So, the facial recognition technology got it right, said we were not a match. What was interesting to me, Anderson, though, simply tilting your head for example, changes in light and the change of expression of your face can sometimes confuse the facial recognition technology. So you can throw that off if you try.

COOPER: So, clearly, this was not something that they could have used before they did the raid from a great distance, that they were trying to figure out whether the pacer, the man walking back and forth in this compound was actually bin Laden. It wouldn't have been -- this kind of technology or at least the technology that we know that's in the open market would not have been able to do that.

GUPTA: I don't think. You know, there are some technologies that are pretty good at looking at videos. So, they're actually doing the video of your face, and they're getting more information that just a still picture. But it has to be pretty close, the lighting has to be pretty good for that to actually work.

So, I think it would have been hard to identify, especially in the chaotic situation that was.

COOPER: Right. But, certainly, now, we know that they used this kind of technology after he had been killed as just one of the means by which they verified his identity.

Sanjay, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: Fascinating stuff.

This was the scene today in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was killed. A rally called for by Pakistan's most influential Islamist Party to demand the government withdraw support from American operations targeting al Qaeda and other militants.

So, how deep and how sustained the backlash will be is a key question. As we said earlier, a statement, reportedly, from al Qaeda posted on several jihadist forums today suggested a process to choose bin Laden's successor is already under way. Well, it's not clear what that process is.

This is the man who many consider likely to get the job, Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian who was al Qaeda's number two under bin Laden. But he's also known as a pretty divisive figure within al Qaeda.

CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen is the author of "The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al Qaeda." He's one of the few Western journalists who have interviewed bin Laden. I talked to Peter earlier.


COOPER: Peter, we talked about it earlier, but I want your take on the reported drone strike in Yemen against Anwar al-Awlaki.

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Clearly, al-Awlaki is regarded by U.S. counterterrorism officials as somebody who's playing an operational role in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -- meaning that he was involved an attempt to bring down Northwest flight 253 over Detroit and in some manner, meaning that he was sort of a source of inspiration for Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 14 American soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009. He's regarded as a dangerous person.

COOPER: Is he more dangerous than Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two guy in al Qaeda? I mean, is it possible that he could take over al Qaeda?

BERGEN: I don't think he has the kind of -- you know, he's relatively young. Ayman al-Zawahiri is in his late 50s now. He's a relatively newcomer to the whole jihadi scene. You know, when he lived in the United States in the sort of 2002 time period, he was living in Virginia and people were saying this guy didn't seem particularly radical. It was really after he emerged from a Yemeni prison in 2006.

So, he's sort of new to the game, which doesn't make him less dangerous. I don't think he's in a position to take over, you know, big chunks of al Qaeda.

COOPER: Zawahiri, though, I mean, he doesn't seem a real solid replacement for bin Laden -- within the movement, he has skeptics.

BERGEN: Yes, the guy is regarded -- Zawahiri is regarded as a sort of divisive guy. No one really -- he's not even well-liked by members of his own relatively small Egyptian jihad group, which was sort of subsumed into al Qaeda in the summer of 2009. You know, he's a prickly guy --

COOPER: Why isn't he liked?

BERGEN: I think because he's just an unpleasant human being to be around. You know, people describe bin Laden with feelings of love in the organization. They describe him as being shy and modest and humble and all these other things. You never hear that of Zawahiri.

And so, you know, I think -- you know, this is really -- if Zawahiri he took over the organization, al Qaeda, that's actually good for the United States and its allies because he'll probably just run the thing into the ground. He ran his own Egyptian jihad group into the ground in the '90s, which is why he was forced to kind of join al Qaeda because he didn't have any money, didn't really very many followers.

COOPER: How was leadership decided?

BERGEN: That's a very interesting question, Anderson. I don't think there's a lot of transparency on that. After all, there's only been one leader of al Qaeda and that's Osama bin Laden. He founded the group in August of 1988, and he's always been the supreme commander. I mean, and also, he's run the thing as a dictatorship.

He's -- you know, we've had many accounts of how bin Laden organizes things within al Qaeda and it's very top down. If bin Laden decides something and everything else against it, it's bin Laden's decision. So this has never happened to al Qaeda. There is a Shura council, but clearly, this is not a group of people who can kind of meet in the Marriott, in some -- you know, meet and have a conversation about how to elect the next leader, because they're all very much wanted.

COOPER: And all signs would point to Zawahiri being also in Pakistan, I assumed?

BERGEN: Yes. In fact, the last time that we had a pretty -- the United States had a good lead on Zawahiri, Anderson, you may recall, there was a drone strike in January of 2006, which Zawahiri missed it by about two hours. He was having some sort of dinner meeting. And within two weeks, he came out with a videotape sort of basically -- sort of giving the bird to President Bush essentially saying, you know, you didn't get me.

So, the last known location he was, was in the tribal regions of Pakistan. I think it would be enormously surprising if he isn't in Pakistan right now.

COOPER: Peter Bergen, thanks very much.


COOPER: Up next, more with my conversation with Condoleezza Rice. She has advice on the U.S. relationship with Pakistan in the wake of bin Laden's killing. And I asked her about the photo showing the president and his staff in the Situation Room, if she would have liked to have been there?


COOPER: Would you have liked to have been in that room?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, everyone would have loved to have been in that room. Wouldn't you like to have been in that room?

COOPER: Yes, absolutely.

RICE: Yes. But the most important thing is that picture, that it's --


COOPER: Also ahead, dogs trained to parachute out of aircraft. A dog was part of the SEAL team in the bin Laden raid, which I just find fascinating. We'll see how military dogs play a role in helping U.S. troops in the field.


COOPER: Well, bin Laden's killing has put a severe strain on America's relationship with Pakistan. Administration officials and members of Congress want to know why bin Laden was basically hiding in plain sight not far from Pakistan's military academy.

On the flip side, Pakistan is clearly embarrassed by the raid on the compound and in a third statement, I should say, its top army general warned there better not be another action like it. Already, some on Capitol Hill are calling for cuts in aid to Pakistan.

But former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is saying not so fast. She also talked with me about the impact of bin Laden's death on the war in Afghanistan or what she thinks it should be. Here's more with my conversation with her.


COOPER: I was looking at some old interviews you did while you were in the administration. And at the time, you would -- you would refer to Pakistan as a full partner in the war on terror. Do you still believe they're a full partner?

RICE: Well, I have no doubt that Pakistan, its government, its president, its prime minister, its chief of staff are full partners.

The problem is Pakistan is a rather fractured place and we've also known, going all the way back to (INAUDIBLE), that there are elements of extremism in Pakistan and even in some of its institutions. There was a significant effort to purge some of those elements after 2001 by Musharraf and to get forces that had no links to extremism. Perhaps, there are still some, but the Pakistanis undoubtedly have really hard questions to answer here. I was really surprised.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, when you heard he's not -- because, again, in old interviews, you know, you seemed to indicate he's in a remote area as many people believed, along the Pakistan-Afghan border.

RICE: We all assumed he was in some cave in the tribal areas. That was the thought, that he was in a -- what's essentially a suburb of Islamabad was something of a surprise.

COOPER: A place near the military college.

RICE: Yes, something of a surprise.

COOPER: Near where troops are all over the place.

RICE: But Pakistan has every reason to get to the bottom of this, too. We have to remember that this is a country that's been victimized by terrorism. Benazir Bhutto, of course, killed by terrorists. And so, I have no doubt they want to get to the bottom of it, but they have every reason to do so, and we, certainly, have every reason to help them do so.

We can't afford to cut Pakistan off. This is an important partner in counterterrorism. But this is a complicating moment.

COOPER: Do you find it credible that no one in the Pakistan intelligence service or military would have known that he was there or that this compound had been built?

RICE: I think that's something we'll just have to see. I've seen stranger things happen than that. So, I can't speculate, but I do know that this is now an important question, how could he have been hiding in plain sight? That's an important question.

COOPER: Would you like him to have been captured alive?

RICE: I -- that's a call that the people on the ground have to make. And I would not even begin to quarrel with the call that those military folks made.

COOPER: I talked to President Musharraf who said it was a good thing he wasn't captured alive.

RICE: Well, there's always the question of martyr. There's always the question of what would you do with him? Those are hard questions. But I would expect, and think that they made the call given the circumstances that they faced and that has to be a call made on the ground I'm sure nobody would want to interfere with that from the White House or any other place.

COOPER: Should this change the mission or the length of the mission in Afghanistan?

RICE: The mission in Afghanistan has to go to its conclusion, which is to help the Afghans build security forces that can keep the Taliban from being an existential threat to the Afghan government, that give Afghan people a decent government. It's not going to be Switzerland, but a decent government. And to help the country get to the place that they can't revert to being a safe haven.

COOPER: The Obama administration is saying that the focus of the war in Afghanistan is the fight against al Qaeda.

RICE: Yes, that's right.

COOPER: What you're describing sounds more like nation building.

RICE: No, no, because, but we have to remember, Anderson, that the reason that we are "nation building" is that Afghanistan, when it was a failed state, became a safe haven for al Qaeda. And we have to be very careful that we don't leave the job unfinished, so that it becomes a safe haven. Again, we're still talking about a place that has a border with Pakistan that's pretty lawless, and until the Taliban is not an existential threat to the government so that they can again do the kinds of things they did in the '90s.

I think we owe it to ourselves and to the Afghan people to see this through. I don't think this is a 10-year, 15-year job. You know, people say, this will have no end. It will, because we're making progress. One of the best Foreign Service officers I've ever known, Ryan Crocker, is about to be the ambassador to Afghanistan. This will shift more and more I think to training and to a civilian mission. But we need to be careful not to leave this job undone.

COOPER: Finally, I was thinking about that photo now that's been seen around the world of President Obama, Secretary Clinton and others in the Situation Room watching. Would you have liked to have been in that room?

RICE: Well, everyone would have liked to have been in that room. Wouldn't you have liked to have been in that room?

COOPER: Yes, absolutely.

RICE: Yes. But the most important thing is that picture said, it was done. And for the American people, this long journey, which really has spanned two presidencies, where we've learned to fight this kind of fight and the extraordinary way that led to this victory, this chapter is closed. And I'm grateful to the Obama administration, to President Obama and his team for having handled this so well.

I'm grateful for President Bush -- to President Bush for having taken the really tough decisions that put the infrastructure in place to be able to do this.

And what it shows to people out there is that you might be able to harm the United States of America. You might be able to wound us, even grievously, as you did on September 11th, but you can't defeat us, we'll get you. That is an important deterrent going forward.

COOPER: Secretary Rice, thank you.

RICE: Thank you.


COOPER: Condoleezza Rice.

Still ahead, the four-legged member of the Navy SEAL team that killed bin Laden. President Obama met the dog today. What we learned about the top secret canine and other dogs of war, next.


COOPER: I bet a lot of us never imagined that a dog would have been part of the elite commando team that stormed Osama bin Laden's compound. In fact, the Pentagon spends a lot of money every year to train dogs to perform highly specialized tasks like bomb detection, which in turn saves the lives of servicemen and women on the battlefield.

We know this much about the dog that took part in the raid. It was in Fort Campbell today and got the meet the president, along with the other SEALs. Here's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just as the Navy SEALs who led the daring raid have gone unidentified, military officials also appear to be protecting the identity of the dog that helped them take bin Laden. No name, no pictures, the Pentagon won't even confirm it exists, leaving military analysts to just guess at what job the dog performed.

TIM CROCKETT, PIONEER CONSULTING GROUP: I would imagine it would be used to detect explosive devices.

FOREMAN: Dogs have been in the military for generations. In World War II, all sides used dogs. The U.S. Army had 10,000 for century duty, carrying messages and other critical jobs.

Today, there are only 2,700 at work in the military. But that number is rapidly growing and never before have they been in such specialized roles.

In Afghanistan, they are so prized for their ability to work around the clock, that General David Petraeus has said, "The capability they bring to the fight cannot be replicated by man or machine" -- especially for dangerous work like checking for car bombs.

CPL. ASHLEY ENTRIKIN, U.S. MARINE CORPS: We can send a dog in there without anybody getting close to the vehicle and you're not risking harm to anyone directly. The dogs can indicate to me whether there's anything in the vehicle or not.

FOREMAN: To purchase and train a single combat dog costs $50,000. And companies like K9 Storm have built a multimillion dollar industry around outfitting them. Night vision cameras, microphones and radios are carried by dogs which infiltrate enemy positions, taking commands from their soldiers who maybe hundreds of yards away.

Flak jackets help them take down dangerous opponents without injury, and with especially made jump harnesses, dogs can parachute into any hotspot as well a human. One dog and his soldier set a record by jumping with oxygen more than 30,000 feet up.


COOPER: It's amazing they've got Kevlar vests for dogs and that they can jump -- they have oxygen masks for dogs to jump out of planes. Do we even know what kind of breed of dog that was used in the bin Laden raid? Or whether if it was male or female?

FOREMAN: We can't be sure, but a good bet would be a Belgian Shepherd, Anderson. They're the dog of choice for military teams. A lot of people think of German Shepherds when they see these. Those dogs are popular, too. But the Belgians are somewhat lighter, quicker, more agile and more energetic. And interesting enough, most of the dogs in the U.S. military come from Europe. COOPER: Interesting. Tom, this has ignited a Twitter war between dog and cat lovers, by the way. Dog lovers on Twitter right now, on our account saying they would never have used a cat. Cat lovers are supporting bringing, you know, supporting cats.

Tom, thanks for that report.

Thanks for watching tonight for what's really been a historic week in this country. It's been an honor to be here at Ground Zero all week. Coming up next, "CNN Presents: In the Footsteps of bin Laden."

We'll be right back.