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

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora