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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid