Leon Panetta

'Osama's body dropped into sea with 300 pounds of iron chains'

'Osama's body dropped into sea with 300 pounds of iron chains'Washington - After al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan's garrison town of Abbottabad, his body was kept in a heavy black bag of 300 pounds of iron chain and dropped into the sea, former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said.

After Osama was shot dead, Panetta said, as planned the body of the world's most wanted terrorist was transported by marines flying an Osprey to waiting aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson for his burial by sea.


Pentagon expands cyber defence ‘five fold’ to counter daily attacks

Pentagon expands cyber defence ‘five fold’ to counter daily attacks Washington, Feb 6 : Pentagon has expanded its cyber defence to counter thousands of attacks every day, a report has said.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned in a speech at Georgetown University that a hostile country could attack America by computer.

He pointed out that the Pentagon is `the target of thousands of cyber attacks every day'.

Panetta said that thousands of cyber attacks are striking at the private sector, Silicon Valley, government, the defense department, an the country's intelligence agencies.


Pentagon to allow women in combat

Pentagon to allow women in combatWashington, Jan 24 - The US has decided to abolish a 1994 rule excluding women from combat, opening hundreds of thousands of frontline jobs to servicewomen, reported the American Forces Press Service, Pentagon's information wing, Wednesday.

The report quoted a senior defense official as saying that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are expected to announce the lifting of the direct combat ban on women in the military. But it provided no further details and did not reveal when the announcement might take place, reported Xinhua.


Panetta vows to rescue US hostages in Algeria

Panetta vows to rescue US hostages in AlgeriaWashington, Jan 17 - The US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, has pledged to "take all necessary steps" to rescue American hostages taken by terrorists who took over a natural gas plant in Algeria, Xinhua reported.

"I want to assure the American people that the United States will take all necessary and proper steps that are required to deal with this situation," Panetta was quoted by the American Forces Press Service as telling the US reporters travelling with him on his current visit to Rome.

The US defense chief arrived in Rome Tuesday on a six-day trip to Europe to visit defense counterparts and troops.


US discussing ways to secure Syria’s chemical weapons post Assad ouster: Panetta

US discussing ways to secure Syria’s chemical weapons post Assad ouster: PanettaWashington, Jan 11 : US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that American officials are discussing with Middle East governments the steps needed to ensure that Syria''s chemical and biological weapons sites are secured when President Bashar al-Assad leaves office.

When asked whether he had ruled out putting U. S. troops in Syria to secure such weapons, Panetta said they `always have to keep the possibility that, if there is a peaceful transition and international organizations get involved, they might ask for assistance in that situation.'


US commander recommends keeping ‘6,000-20,000 troops’ in Afghanistan after 2014

US commander recommends keeping ‘6,000-20,000 troops’ in Afghanistan after 2014Washington, Jan 4 : Top outgoing top American commander in Afghanistan has said that the US would keep between 6,000 and 20,000 troops in the war-torn nation after 2014.

Marine General John Allen made his recommendations to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, but could not confirm what specific troop levels he has proposed as options.

Citing a senior military official, a report by the New York Times said that Allen gave Panetta plans for 6,000, 10,000 and 20,000 troops from which to choose for when NATO''s combat mission ends at the close of 2014.


US draws up plans to counter Assad losing control of chemical weapons cache

US draws up plans to counter Assad losing control of chemical weapons cache Washington, Dec 17 : The Obama administration has drawn up plans for responding to a possible scenario if Syria's weapons of mass destruction fall into the hands of Islamist extremists, rogue generals or other uncontrollable factions, a report has said.

The opposition Free Syrian Army said it did not find any chemical weapons at the first installation.

But the developments have fanned fears that even if Assad does not attack his own people with chemical weapons, he is on the verge of losing control of his formidable arsenal.


Panetta credits dog ‘Bravo’ for successful CIA operation that killed Bin Laden

Panetta credits dog ‘Bravo’ for successful CIA operation that killed Bin LadenWashington, Dec. 15 : US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said having his dog `Bravo' around him actually made him `more aware of what life is really about.'

Panetta seemed to credit his dog for the successful operation that killed slain Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden earlier in 2011 following stealth operation conducted by the US Navy SEALs.

"Bravo was in the room when we were talking about the bin Laden operation at the CIA," Politico quoted Panetta, as saying.

According to the report, Panetta was CIA director at the time of bin Laden operation in May 2011.


Panetta says Syrian chemical weapons threat ‘not escalating’

Panetta says Syrian chemical weapons threat ‘not escalating’Washington, Dec 11 : US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said intelligence reports suggests that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not taking aggressive steps to use chemical weapons against the opposition groups trying to oust his regime.

Panetta told reporters during a flight to Kuwait that the relevant intelligence had `really kind of leveled off.'

"We haven''t seen anything new indicating any aggressive steps to move forward in that way," Panetta said.


Al-Qaeda still trying to make inroads into Afghanistan, says Leon Panetta

Al-Qaeda still trying to make inroads into Afghanistan, says Leon PanettaWashington, Nov. 30 : U. S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said Al-Qaeda fighters are still trying to make inroads into Afghanistan, and cautioned that battling the group would be a core U. S. mission there for years to come.

Panetta made the comments as the US weighs how large a military force to keep in Afghanistan when the NATO combat mission ends in 2014, ending a war that, at that point, will have stretched for over 13 years, reports The News.


US, Pak share interest in defeating terrorists: Panetta

US, Pak share interest in defeating terrorists: PanettaWashington, Nov 22 : U. S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that despite challenges in the bilateral relationship, America and Pakistan share an interest in defeating terrorists and that the US would pursue defence cooperation with Pakistan on that common basis.

"Despite challenges in the bilateral relationship between the United States and Pakistan, one area in which our national interests continue to align is defeating the terrorists on Pakistan soil that threaten both of us," The News quoted Panetta, as saying.

"We remain committed to pursuing defence cooperation based on these shared interest," he added.


Panetta reiterates U.S. commitment to Israel''s security

Panetta reiterates U.S. commitment to Israel''s securityWashington, Nov 21:- U. S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday talked with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak over phone to reiterate the strong U. S. commitment to Israel''s security and bilateral defense relationship, the Pentagon said.

"The secretary commended Israel on the cease-fire reached today. He expressed his hope that no further rockets will be fired from Gaza, and committed to continuing to work together to address the issue of the smuggling of weapons into Gaza," Pentagon''s spokesman George Little said in a statement.


Al Qaeda’s leadership ‘decimated’ but not eliminated: Leon Panetta

Al Qaeda’s leadership ‘decimated’ but not eliminated: Leon PanettaWashington, Nov 22 : US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that Al Qaeda's leadership has been decimated, if not the organization itself.

Speaking at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, Panetta qualified United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice's statement, she has used the word "decimate" in September to describe Al Qaeda, which has come under fierce scrutiny from Republicans on Capitol Hill.


US warns North Korea

US warns North KoreaWashington, Oct 25 - The US will continue to expand its global missile shield in Asia and will provide cover to South Korea against a possible threat from North Korea, an official said, even as tensions continue to build in the Korean peninsula.

US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, warned here Wednesday after a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan Jin that North Korean aggression or military provocation will not be tolerated.


Panetta warns of dire ‘cyber attack’ threat on US

Panetta warns of dire ‘cyber attack’ threat on USWashington, Oct. 12 : U. S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has warned that the country is facing the possibility of a `cyber-Pearl Harbor' and is increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers, who could dismantle the nation's power grid, transportation system, financial networks and government.

In a speech at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, Panetta painted a dire picture of how such an attack on the United States might unfold.

Panetta said he was reacting to increasing aggressiveness and technological advances by the nation's adversaries, which officials identified as China, Russia, Iran and militant groups.


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