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Bin Laden Said To Have Wanted Obama Assassinated [VIDEO]

A former Obama administration official says al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden wanted to see President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus assassinated.

Osama Bin Laden
Osama Bin Laden (Salah Malkawi/Getty Images)

But Michael Leiter tells NBC’s “Today” show he didn’t think that necessarily was bin Laden’s highest priority, suggesting the terrorist leader dreamed of another large-scale, 9/11-type attack on the United States.

Asked by “Today” host Matt Lauer Tuesday whether bin Laden’s aim of seeing Obama assassinated was more of a “wish-list” than a plot, Leiter agreed.

Leiter served as head of the National Counterterrorism Center during the Obama administration. He was present with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House a year ago as they monitored the U.S. operation that killed bin Laden at a Pakistan compound.

President Barack Obama says the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden is a time for reflection, and he pushed back on criticism that the White House was using the occasion for “excessive celebration.”

Obama Calls bin Laden Anniversary “Time For Reflection”

Obama also took the opportunity to raise the question of whether his Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney would have made the same decision in targeting the al-Qaida leader. While never mentioning Romney by name, Obama recommended looking at people’s previous statements on the issue.

Obama’s re-election team has seized on a quote from Romney in 2007 where he said it was not worth moving heaven and earth to go after one person.

On Monday, Romney said he “of course” would have ordered bin Laden to have been killed.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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