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NYT: Probing Link to Bin Laden, U.S. Tells Pakistan to Name Agents


BRAVEONAWARPATH

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Click on the link to read the rest.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/07/world/asia/07policy.html?_r=1

Pakistani officials say the Obama administration has demanded the identities of some of their top intelligence operatives as the United States tries to determine whether any of them had contact with Osama bin Laden or his agents in the years before the raid that led to his death early Monday morning in Pakistan.

The officials provided new details of a tense discussion between Pakistani officials and an American envoy who traveled to Pakistan on Monday, as well as the growing suspicion among United States intelligence and diplomatic officials that someone in Pakistan’s secret intelligence agency knew of Bin Laden’s location, and helped shield him.

Obama administration officials have stopped short of accusing the Pakistani government — either privately or publicly — of complicity in the hiding of Bin Laden in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. One senior administration official privately acknowledged that the administration sees its relationship with Pakistan as too crucial to risk a wholesale break, even if it turned out that past or present Pakistani intelligence officials did know about Bin Laden’s whereabouts.

Still, this official and others expressed deep frustration with Pakistani military and intelligence officials for their refusal over the years to identify members of the agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, who were believed to have close ties to Bin Laden. In particular, American officials have demanded information on what is known as the ISI’s S directorate, which has worked closely with militants since the days of the fight against the Soviet army in Afghanistan.

“It’s hard to believe that Kayani and Pasha actually knew that Bin Laden was there,” a senior administration official said, referring to Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and the ISI director-general, Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha. But, added the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue, “there are degrees of knowing, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we find out that someone close to Pasha knew.”

Already, Pakistani news outlets have been speculating that General Pasha, one of the most powerful figures in Pakistan, may step down as a consequence of the Bin Laden operation.

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Some of the people in the Pakistani military were basically protecting Bin Laden. I don't think everybody knew he was being protected, but IMHO, a few powerful people in the military knew exactly where he was. The Pakistani military has been infiltrated by Muslim extremists IMHO. Bin Laden was hiding right next to Pakistan's West Point. He was there for approximately 5 years. They were protecting him. Not everybody in the military knew, mind you, but some knew exactly where he was.

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ISLAMABAD: Osama bin Laden may have lived in Pakistan for over seven years before being shot dead by US forces, senior Pakistani security officials said on Saturday, a disclosure that could further anger key ally Washington over the presence of enemy number one in the country.

One of Bin Laden’s widows told Pakistani investigators that the world’s most wanted man stayed in a village for nearly two and a half years before moving to the nearby garrison town of Abbottabad, where he was killed.

The wife, Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, told investigators earlier that Bin Laden and his family had spent five years in Abbottabad, before one of the world’s most elaborate and expensive manhunts ended there on Monday.

“Amal (bin Laden’s wife) told investigators that they lived in a village in Haripur district for nearly two and a half years before moving to Abbottabad at the end of 2005,” one of the security officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Abdulfattah, along with two other wives and several children, were among 15-16 people detained by Pakistani authorities at the compound after the raid.

Pakistan, heavily dependent on billions of dollars of US aid, is under heavy pressure to explain how Bin Laden could have spent so many years undetected a few hours drive from its intelligence headquarters in the capital.

Suspicions have deepened that Pakistan’s pervasive Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, which has a long history of contacts with militant groups, may have had ties with Bin Laden – or at least some of its agents did.

Continues........http://tribune.com.pk/story/163836/bin-laden-may-have-lived-in-pakistan-for-over-7-years/

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