US President Barack Obama stands ready to order a similar mission to that which killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, he said in a BBC interview broadcast on Sunday.
Asked whether he would do the same again if another high-value target was discovered in Pakistan, or any other sovereign territory, Obama replied: "I've always been clear to the Pakistanis ... that our job is to secure the United States.
"We are very respectful of the sovereignty of Pakistan but we cannot allow someone who is actively planning to kill our people or our allies' people, we can't allow those kinds of active plans to come to fruition without us taking some action," he added.
Elite US commandos who were whisked into Pakistan by helicopter killed al Qaeda leader bin Laden on May 2. The secret operation ended the most elaborate manhunt in history.
The BBC interview was conducted last Thursday at the White House, ahead of Obama's European tour this week. The US president is due to visit Ireland, Britain, France and Poland.