Brennan: We raided once and we can do it again

By KIMBERLY DOZIER | September 16, 2011 | 7:50 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House top terror adviser says the U.S. will keep targeting al-Qaida anywhere in the world, including in countries unable or unwilling to do it themselves.

White House counterterror chief John Brennan laid out what could be called the Osama bin Laden raid doctrine, in remarks Friday at Harvard Law School. He says under international law, the U.S. can protect itself with pre-emptive action against suspects the U.S. believes present an imminent threat, wherever they are.

That amounts to a legal defense of the unilateral Navy SEAL raid into Pakistan that killed al-Qaida mastermind bin Laden in May, angering Pakistan.

Brennan says the U.S. prefers to work with countries where the targets hide, and also prefers to capture, not kill suspects, whenever possible.