WASHINGTON. It has been years since the United States has had good intelligence on the whereabouts of al-Qaida leader Osama bin laden, although he is thought to be in Pakistan, CIA director Leon Panetta said yesterday.


He also gave a sobering account of the war in Afghanistan, saying the Taliban seemed to be strengthening with a stepped-up campaign of violence, even as U.S.-led forces undermine the Islamist movement with attacks on its leadership.


Progress is being made in the nearly nine-year conflict but “it’s harder, it’s slower than I think anyone anticipated,” Panetta said on ABC’s “This Week” program. He did not directly answer a question about whether the war was being won.