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He'd always been persistent. In college, he walked on to a Division I basketball team and hustled his way into a rotation full of scholarship players.
The CIA offered to promote him and move him somewhere else. John wanted to keep the bin Laden file.
A few web searches turned up details of the man’s personal life. In college, he'd played basketball. No superstar by any means -- he was mostly a practice player -- he'd been aggressive enough to catch the eye of the team's coach, who later spoke glowingly of John's unusual shooting style.
Senior counterintelligence figures who have worked closely with him describe an extraordinarily modest man, soft-spoken and eager to remain clear of any limelight, the kind of guy who’s at his desk by 6 a.m. and whose primary hobbies are coaching his kids’ various sports teams and shooting hoops with the other men at his local parish -- though he has yet to play with the president.
Those close to him were hard-pressed to come up with quirks or personal details. However, they all said he's an effective manager, if his style is a little hokey at times. He offers up the same platitude to the kids he coaches that he employs with the analysts who work under him: "There’s no 'I' in team."
A U.S. official said that the decision was driven by information about possible efforts by al-Qaeda to seek revenge for the U.S. raid that ended with the death of bin Laden at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May.
"We know from very recent intelligence that al-Qaeda is interested in finding U.S. counterterrorism officials tied to the CIA's aggressive counterterrorism operations," a U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters. "Surely the vast majority of Americans understand why this individual needs to be protected."