News / Asia

How Much Did Pakistanis Know About bin Laden?

Vehicles parked inside the compound where Osama bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan, May 2, 2011
Vehicles parked inside the compound where Osama bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan, May 2, 2011

The mansion in Abbottabad, Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was found and killed is at least six times the size of the typical house near it.  Abbottabad is a military town, where many from the Pakistani military retire - raising questions about how Pakistani authorities could not locate and capture bin Laden themselves.  

Osama bin Laden lived inside this million dollar mansion for at least nine months.  Some counterterrorism experts think he was there six years, since the compound was built.  The 5-meter-high privacy wall is topped with razor wire.  A TV satellite dish sits atop a sunroom.  The mansion dwarfs neighboring houses.  And it is within walking distance of a Pakistan military academy.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

"It raises some important questions, questions that really the Pakistanis need to answer, not only for us, but for themselves," she said.

Lawmakers in Washington have their own questions.

"I think Americans are asking how they could have gone undetected - some kind of divided loyalty or complicity in some part," said Republican Representative Patrick Meehan.

"For all the money we've spent, how can we develop a relationship trust with the Pakistani government's weak president and an ISI [intelligence service], that is rogue," asked Democratic Representative Jackie Speier.

Much money was spent.  The United States has given Pakistan $20 billion dollars since the terrorist attacks of 2001.  Some analysts say Pakistan thought that money would evaporate if bin Laden were caught.  Others say giving up bin Laden was a political risk for Pakistan.

A government statement says Paksitan gave the CIA leads that helped the U.S. identify and reach bin Laden.  The Pakistan high commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan:

"We pointed them out to the American intelligence and we did not allow him to run away from the place," said Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

"I think the word ally needs to not be used anymore," said Lisa Curtis.

Lisa Curtis is with The Heritage Foundation.  She says Pakistan did not search hard enough for  the world’s most wanted terrorist.  

"This should strengthen Obama’s hand in convincing Pakistan to take stronger action against the terrorists that we know are still there," she said.

Pakistan-U.S. relations were strained earlier this year when Pakistan demanded the U.S. reduce  the number of drone strikes and CIA operatives in the country.  But without them, bin Laden might have not been caught.


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid