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

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid