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Monday
May022011

Rudy Giuliani 'Wanted to Be the One' to Kill Osama Bin Laden

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Rudy Giuliani, whose emotional leadership in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attack defined his term as New York mayor, said that when he learned of Osama bin Laden's death he felt "real satisfaction ... relief [and] ... a sense of revenge."

Giuliani said that there was a time when he wanted to be the one who brought bin Laden to justice.

"I told President Bush once that I wanted to be the one to execute him," Giuliani said. "Revenge is not a noble sentiment, but it is a human one. ... When it [news of bin Laden's death] first happened, I wondered, 'Well, did he just die of natural causes?' That would have been somewhat unsatisfying."

"The fact that the American military caught him and brought him to justice I think will make a lot of people feel better in a way that's almost hard to describe," he said.

Giuliani compared bin Laden's death to Hitler's suicide and cautioned that although bin Laden is gone, al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, will take his place.

"This is like taking out Hitler, or taking out, taking out one of those charismatic leaders for evil. Or maybe Stalin, someone who was an organizing principle for them," Giuliani said. "Zawahiri will replace him, but we'll catch him. It's only a matter of time."

He said Zawahiri doesn't have the charisma or the terrorist credentials that bin Laden had.

"He wasn't the hero of the Afghan war that bin Laden was. He wasn't the multi-zillionaire that turned into a terrorist," Giuliani said. "He's still very dangerous, I think we can catch him, but it'll help that the major figure who organized this whole effort is now gone."

The former mayor praised the courage of President Obama, the military and intelligence services, but said he'd thought bin Laden would have been caught "a lot sooner."

He said the fact that bin Laden was living in a mansion close to a Pakistani military facility calls into question the loyalty and trustworthiness of some of America's allies.

"I do recognize how difficult it is, you know he's in a part of the world where they're trying to hide him, whether it's Afghanistan, or Pakistan -- look, he was living in a mansion in a suburb of Islamabad," Giuliani said. "Our intelligence ability is terrific. What it says is that we don't really have that many allies in that part of the world as we think. And they undermine us and hate us, and it's something we're going to have to deal with."

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