CIA Director John Brennan has defended the agency's so-called enhanced interrogation techniques and insisted the brutal methods helped the US find slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Admitting that the agency resorted to "abhorrent" practices while questioning terror suspects, Brennan said the CIA "did a lot of things right".

"It is our considered view that the detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques provided information that was useful and was used in the ultimate operation to go against bin Laden," Brennan said while addressing a rare press conference at the CIA headquarters in Virginia.