Photo: The Pentagon
The United States has said that no one in the Pakistan military or intelligence community knew about the US raid on Osama bin Laden’s residence in Abbottabad. The Pakistan government, military and intelligence service likewise disclaimed prior knowledge. It doesn’t add up. And the reason it doesn’t add up is because it is not true.
Pakistani officials have told GlobalPost that the Pakistani army had full knowledge of the U.S. raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden and that it played a larger role in the operation than previously acknowledged.
One senior military official, who asked not to be named because he is not permitted to speak to the press, said that Pakistani army troops were in fact providing backup support when the United States began its operations inside the compound where bin Laden had been staying, including sealing off the neighbourhood where the compound was located.
Residents in the area confirmed that the Pakistan army appeared to have at least some knowledge of the operation well before it began. Several residents said that two hours before the United States launched its attack, Pakistani army personnel ordered them to switch off their lights inside and outside their homes and remain indoors until further notice.
“The army personnel cordoned off the entire area long before we heard the sounds of helicopters hovering over the area,” said Zulfikar Ahmed, who lives in the Abbottabad neighbourhood of Bilal Town, where bin Laden’s compound is located. Locals interviewed by the BBC and several other local and international media outlets made similar statements.
You can read the full report here. The reason that both the US and Pakistan governments proclaimed that Pakistan had no prior knowledge of the raid was to protect the Pakistan government from the wrath of its citizenry (or some of its citizenry). It was, as they say, useful fiction.
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