Monday, May 2, 2011
Pakistani intelligence hid bin Laden?
Just hours after American Navy Seals shot dead Osama bin Laden in a compound in Pakistan on Sunday, US President Obama shot down the Pakistani security establishment's attempt to claim joint credit for the operation.
In a ten-minute television address, Obama left no doubt that US personnel alone were involved in the action that brought bin Laden to justice. ''Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan,'' Obama said, adding, ''A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability.''
While Obama said ''It's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding,'' he made no mention of any Pakistani military role in the operation. US officials in background briefing made it clear that no country, much less Pakistan, was informed of the operation.
In fact, there was not even a word of thanks for Pakistan. Instead, Obama said: ''Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al-Qaida and its affiliates.''
The finger of suspicion is now pointing squarely at the Pakistani military and intelligence for sheltering and protecting Osama bin Laden before US forces hunted him down and put a bullet in his head in the wee hours of Sunday. The coordinates of the action and sequence of events indicate that the al-Qaida fugitive may have been killed in an ISI safehouse.