News / Asia

Pakistan Finds 'Gross-Incompetence' in Bin Laden Case

This May 2, 2011 file photo shows Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan shortly after the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.
This May 2, 2011 file photo shows Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan shortly after the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.
Ayaz Gul
In Pakistan, a government-formed commission’s report has blamed “gross incompetence and negligence” at practically all levels of national security system for failing to detect the presence of Osama bin Laden in the country for years and the covert US raid that eliminated the al-Qaida leader on May 2, 2011.  
 
The so-called Abbottabad Commission was set up shortly after U.S. special forces raided Osama Bin Laden’s hideout deep inside Pakistan.

The four-member commission, headed by a former Supreme Court justice, was assigned to determine circumstances leading to the unilateral US raid and the presence of the world’s most wanted man in the garrison town of Abbottabad for years without being detected.  

While the Pakistani government has yet to officially publish findings of the long awaited report, it was leaked to local and foreign news networks late on Monday.

The head of the commission, Javed Iqbal, told local TV channels on Tuesday the report was submitted to the government in January so it could be shared with the public. He dismissed criticism for taking 18 months to complete the inquiry, saying they recorded testimony of more than 200 witnesses  and sources including members of Bin Laden’s family, as well as top military and civilian officials.

He says his team also had to closely examine translations of “7,000 documents and a 350-page diary, both written in Arabic” to complete the job. Pakistani authorities had seized the material from Bin Laden’s residence in Abbottabad soon after his killing in the American operation.

The 336-page report offers details about life on the run for the al-Qaida leader and evidence of “gross incompetence” at all levels within Pakistani civil and military institutions for failing to detect Bin Laden’s presence in the country.

Mushahid Hussain, who heads Defense Affairs Committee of the Pakistani Senate, says the findings are disturbing.

“Because the report reveals that not only did the intelligence fail to focus on this high-profile person (OBL) in Pakistan territory for a number of years, but also the fact that just before the operation of 2nd of May by the US army there was a CIA station (in Abbottabad), which was also monitoring Bin Laden’s activity, and even that CIA station was off the radar screen from our security system. So I think there was a double jeopardy involved as far as intelligence is concerned,” Hussain said.

Senator Hussain says the commission’s report must lead to an inquiry and internal reforms in Pakistan's security services to prevent future embarrassments.

“Because now the primary focus should not be any blame game or finger pointing. That is not the answer. The answer is to ensure that what has happened does not recur,” he added.

The Bin Laden raid was seen as a major embarrassment for the powerful Pakistani military, and especially for its spy agency, the ISI, which is often accused of having close ties to Afghan Taliban insurgents and al-Qaida militants. But the commission’s report did not conclude that the ISI or any another state security agency was involved in sheltering Bin Laden.

There has long been speculation that al-Qaida’s current chief Ayman al-Zawahiri is also hiding in Pakistan, and Afghan officials repeatedly allege that fugitive Taliban chief Mullah Omar and his deputies are also living in Pakistan with the support of the ISI -- something Pakistani authorities deny.

The unilateral American raid that killed Bin Laden strained ties between Islamabad and Washington. US officials maintain they did not inform Pakistan because of fears the al-Qaida leader would be tipped off.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid