FIRST ON CNN: Panetta to keep security detail in retirement
February 13th, 2013
12:12 PM ET

FIRST ON CNN: Panetta to keep security detail in retirement

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will have a full detail of security agents assigned to him for the foreseeable future after he leaves office, an administration official confirmed to CNN Wednesday.

Federal security personnel will be assigned to Panetta due to concerns about potential future threats against him both as a result of his time as CIA director and secretary of defense, the official said.

"This is the guy that killed Osama bin Laden," the official noted. "He'll have guys with him for some time to come."

The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information. But he was willing to discuss the matter because outgoing defense secretaries in the past also have had protection details after leaving office when circumstances warrant.

Security personnel are readily visible when these former government officials appear in public.

The official would not discuss how long Panetta would have a security detail, but noted it would depend on an ongoing assessment of threats against him.

Panetta is expected to return to his home in California this week. His last day in office is expected to be Thursday.

A security detail also will be assigned to Chuck Hagel upon being confirmed as secretary of defense. That detail will include personnel to accompany him at all times with secure communications equipment.

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