OBL was in contact with members of Pakistan's spy agency: Report

Published: February 28, 2012

Think tank e-mails reveal that mid to high level generals knew of Osama's presence in Abbottabad, Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Osama bin Laden was in routine contact with several senior figures from the Pakistan’s military and its  intelligence arm while hiding in the country, British newspaper The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks had published five million e-mails and secret intelligence files from US security think tank Stratfor on Monday after being obtained by hacktivist group Anonymous.

Stratfor provides analysis of world affairs to major corporations, military officials and government agencies and was once likened by an American business magazine to a “shadow CIA”.

The Telegraph reported that according to one of the e-mails, the firm had been given access to information papers collected from bin Laden’s Abbotabad compound after US special forces attacked it last May, killing the al Qaeda leader.

The e-mail, from a Stratfor analyst, suggested that up to 12 officials in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency knew of the safe house.

“Mid to senior level ISI and Pak Mil with one retired Pak Mil General that had knowledge of the OBL arrangements and safehouse,” the email said.

The internal email, however, did not name any of the Pakistani officials allegedly involved, but said the US could use the information as a bargaining chip in post raid negotiations with Islamabad.

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Reader Comments (72)

  • Amir
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:20AM

    My Report says”US authorities including Obama has direct links with Bramdagh Buhgti and Harbiyar Mari in UK & Switzerland. They all meet on regular basis in US emabassy in their respective countries of residence. Last meeting took place in Berne between 03/FEB and 10/FEB”

    Could someone in Pakistan govt take notice of my report ?

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  • Human being
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:23AM

    Who is OBL and what is ISI?

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  • Akhtar
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:30AM

    Of course, how’s it possible that some one can stay so close to PMA & not a single Army//ISI man knows? There is great sympathy for OBL in Pakistan!

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  • Hamza
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:34AM

    Am I surprised? Nope.

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  • Umar
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:51AM

    I also have no doubt in it. V are habitual of living in state of denial in the name of Islam and Pakistan.

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  • Love Pakistan
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:07AM

    What is our stand in this case?. We have not even thought to issue a rejoinder to this allegation. The world is watching us closely. By closing our eyes and pumping Defah-e-Pakistan Mullahs, we cannot escape the truth. Poor P.M. is right when he cries.

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 8:10AM

    Is this really a surprise? If I am hunted by a Country’s Intelligence Agency, I dont go and live and make a home near its Training Center!!! I try to get away as far away from it as possible.

    OBL chose to make Abbottabad his home suggests that he considered it safe.

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  • John B
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:18AM

    Was it not old news?

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  • Pundit
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:20AM

    Congratulations…ISPR will now be issuing their 1 Millionth Denial.

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  • haroon ali
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:22AM

    ISI doesn’t represent the Pakistani government nor the people of Pakistan.

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  • Arindom
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:25AM

    OBL was a ‘Strategic Asset’ – turned – ‘Strategic Nightmare’!!
    hope people involved learn some lessons!!

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  • Babloo
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:34AM

    It has been widely reported that the Abottabad OBL compund was known locally as an ‘agency friendly jihadi compound’ and out of reach for local police. You were not suppose to ask questions about it.

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  • Pradeep
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:57AM

    I am just waiting for Pakistanis on this forum to claim that this is a deliberate leak and one cannot trust Wikileaks. This is the same Wikileaks that the Pakistanis would have sung praises about a few months back when it leaked alleged information that was maligning America or supporting Pakistan.

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 9:26AM

    He filed a claim for funeral charges after he died from kidney failure using grave IT system.

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  • Cautious
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Unfortunately this breaking news is no surprise — OBL could not have lived in in a mansion for 5+ years outside the PMA without the knowledge and assistance of important people within your military establishment. No one outside of Pakistan blames the USA for not telling you in advance of their intentions to raid the OBL compound — it’s pretty apparent to them who wasn’t acting in good faith.

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  • Janan khan
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:36AM

    Actually they were not only aware about it but they were the very safeguardsers of that eveil(bin-laden).

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  • Basit
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:43AM

    @BruteForce:
    The most obvious answer that it was a deliberate OBL ploy to cause rift between US and Pak which can only benefit Al Qaeda.

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 9:44AM

    why not tell truth to nation?

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  • abeer
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:46AM

    lols

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  • pun
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:49AM

    something everybody knew already. but still every pakistanis will deny it as if it is a national duty.

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  • Ghaznavi
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:49AM

    @ Bruteforce

    Considering logic, you will always be caught. The best place to hide is right under the nose, and not some far flung area.
    Did you barter your IQ for some american dollars Recommend

  • Truthbetold
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:56AM

    @haroon ali:

    “ISI doesn’t represent the Pakistani government nor the people of Pakistan.”

    But, the reality is that ISI is the true Pakistani government!!

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  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Who was that retired General who had knowledge of OBL and the arrangements made for his safe house????? There is certainly some rat smell in this news from WL.

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  • Noble Tufail
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:14AM

    many years ago james Cameron made True Lies.

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  • Mirza
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:23AM

    I am shocked, it cannot be true. I demand ISPR not to sit quiet like OBL raid and condemn the US propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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  • Super Star
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Pakistans denial on the OBL issue reminds me of the story of the Emperors New clothes. Emperor is Pakistan standing naked in front of the world audience who are laughing at its situation. Emperor is in denial convinced that he is wearing a very smart dress.Wonder when their dream is going to break . Perhaps when another break up

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  • vasan
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:52AM

    I dont believe this. I just dont believe this. It is not “upto 12 military officials”, It is much much more than that. May be 12000 officials.

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  • Bataan
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:21AM

    My reports suggest that CIA had close relationship with OBL before 2001.

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  • Ravish
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:41AM

    All this only gives a bad name to Pakistan abroad. It reaffirms what everyone already knows that Pakistan is a harbour state to terrorists.

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:43AM

    The internal email, however, did not name any of the Pakistani officials allegedly involved, but said the US could use the information as a bargaining chip in post raid negotiations with Islamabad.

    There goes Balochistan!!!

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  • Sadhu
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:47AM

    @Ghaznavi:
    This is the standard logic that operates in Pak!

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  • Sadhu
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:48AM

    @Basit:
    Disingenius!

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  • Raj - USA
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:50AM

    **Interestingly, according to New York Times, a senior officer of Stratfor has advised those exposed to the leaked WikiLeaks emails:

    Deny Everything; Accept Nothing; Make Counteraccusations.

    This is what Pakistan and its Establishment has been doing for many years.**

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  • Sadhu
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:51AM

    @Mirza:
    And tell the world that OBL was living in Abbotabad under the protection of India, Israel and the USA so that they could discover him in Pak and spoil its pristine Pak name.

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  • Qasim
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:51AM

    As is normally the case, this one unsubstantiated news report will put the entire nation in frenzy; statements, media haunting, talk-show circus, denials, more statements and more denials. When will we learn to ignore the garbage emanating elsewhere; don’t we have enough problems of our own to waste energy on never ending accusations.

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  • Sadhu
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:53AM

    @Mirza:
    Please ascertain whether it is true or not that there is a country called Pakistan or it also a creation of the western propaganda.

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  • Bilal Anwar
    Feb 28, 2012 - 12:02PM

    lets take first thing first…did america show any proof to anyone that the person killed in Abottabad operation was actually OBL???

    Without any proof, how on earth can I believe the whole stunt to be true

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  • Adnan
    Feb 28, 2012 - 12:05PM

    DG ISI and MI should have resigned after the operation. How could he didn’t know about the whereabouts of the most wanted man in the world living in the back yard of a major military installation. Utter failure of our intelligence system.

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  • Javad
    Feb 28, 2012 - 12:29PM

    Some people here are considering this as concrete proof. It is just a piece of news without any names of officials and neither name of Stratfor analyst. Let us wait and see when the americans provide real evidence.

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  • MarkH
    Feb 28, 2012 - 12:38PM

    It was best said from the very start. They’re either beyond incompetent or complicit. There’s nothing else.

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 12:53PM

    How can they sell ‘ice to an Eskimo’ expecting him to buy it? Salams to Pakistan

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  • WhatTheWhaa?
    Feb 28, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Obviously since Sratfor has said it the it HAS to be true. Anything an American publication or media says is akin to divine revelation and ordination. I means it’s not as if the NYT got the hysterical reporting on Iraq’s WMD wrong!!!

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Feb 28, 2012 - 2:04PM

    @Adnan,

    You said: “DG ISI and MI should have resigned after the operation”

    True. But both of them are more interested in bringing down a civilian government under the pretext of their own version of Difa-e-Pakistan. An honorable soldier would have resigned but when was the last time you met an honorable officer with more than one star on his shoulders?

    They are there to ensure the military’s hierarchy’s self-enriching machinery; not defending Pakistan. Oh, once in a while they will ask their stooges among the mullahs to raise the Kashmir and other anti-Indian palaver while US drones strikes kill Pakistanis on the other side of the country.

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  • Zeta
    Feb 28, 2012 - 2:46PM

    It never surprises me how some people still actually believes in these dramas. Let them in their ignorance despite several evidences available of his demise back in 2001/2

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 4:32PM

    Tribune why u have have habit of publishing foreign propaganda machines reports??? do ur own research and publish something productive

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  • Roflcopter
    Feb 28, 2012 - 4:33PM

    Complete nonsense, what’s even more sad is that people here are blindly believeing this nonsense.

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  • USMANx
    Feb 28, 2012 - 4:54PM

    And the board is inundated with our bollywood friends.

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  • USMANx
    Feb 28, 2012 - 4:57PM

    Breaking News –
    India supported Mukhti Bahini, BLA
    US supported Bin Laden against Soviets
    Israel is supporting Jundallah

    Oh wait, that doesn’t count..

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  • Anon.
    Feb 28, 2012 - 6:01PM

    @pakistan politics
    I think the reason ET publishes such baseless one sided reports is obvious…

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  • WhatTheWhaa?
    Feb 28, 2012 - 6:03PM

    @pakistan policy
    i mean after all ET is aligned with the NYT, the publication that ran with the Iraq WMD story. We all know how the NYT maligns Pakistan and plants establishments leaks as news, any surprises on what direction ET takes?

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Feb 28, 2012 - 6:29PM

    Well, even half of it is truth, it should be investigated and Pakistan Military needs to come clear. Enough of the games, please. It is time to admit mistakes and move on.

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  • Mubashir
    Feb 28, 2012 - 6:30PM

    Does any of this has any Bearing on the lives of an average Pakistani.. someone who struggles through life and struggles out of it just to ensure that the ruling elite the bureaucrats and the military are well stocked. His own life lays in ruin.

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 6:41PM

    @WhatTheWhaa?:
    no surprises its a sad realityRecommend

  • Sher Khan
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:02PM

    another attempt to discredit pakistan army and ISI. i smell govt behind all this to destroy Pakistan army so they can reign in with their corruption.. Pakistanio uth kharay ho, next election mein nikaal maroon in logon ko jo tumhay barbaadi kee taraf lay kar ja rahain hain..

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  • IndianDude
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:11PM

    @Bilal Anwar wrote:
    “lets take first thing first…did america show any proof to anyone that the person killed in Abottabad operation was actually OBL???…Without any proof, how on earth can I believe the whole stunt to be true

    What about the pakistani army just demolishing the OBL safe-mansion in abbottabad? If OBL wasnt killed by superior SEALS,was your army and intelligence agency are on the “Whole stunt” too? Why did the jihadi attended his “mock” funeral and declared him a shaheed? Or why is ISI prosecuting the Dr. Khan who help identify OBL’s genes, on treason charges, If according to you OBL was not killed by the great and brave navy seals?Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:22PM

    This report in WikiLeaks about ISI willingly hiding OBL just goes to prove that….drum rolls please…….Wikileaks is grand conspiracy hatched by CIA/RAW/Mossad/MI6 and Julian Assange is on their payroll!
    I thought CIA/RAW/Mossad/MI6 was the only organizations that were hatching conspiracy against the citadel of islam 24/7, now seems like Julian Assange/wikileaks is out to get pakistan.
    Boy! Economy in the NATO countries must be realy realy bad because they all seem to have only one job available, plot against the greatest nation of pakistan and its bravest army!

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  • Umer
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:31PM

    No wonder we are putting the Dr responsible for OBL’s capture to trial for treason. Obviously OBL’s capture was not intended.

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  • Feb 28, 2012 - 7:34PM

    @Sher Khan:
    I suspect ET, NYT , CNN, BBC all propaganda machines are wotking for Unlce Sam’s goals and objectives not Pakistan Gov. Its a media war wakeup

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  • Kamran shigri
    Feb 28, 2012 - 7:53PM

    Yet another drama being played by the CIA… Now how will they benefit from this so called leak??? Have to wait and see

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  • Coolbreeze
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:19PM

    So easy to spread propaganda against Pakistan: just one leak without any names/authenticity and it becomes debate in media…Hope, we would become a responsible Nation one day.

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  • Truth Seeker
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:43PM

    @MarkH:
    “They’re either beyond incompetent or complicit. There’s nothing else.”
    1. Beyond incompetent: So was the CIA, MI6, Mossad and RAW alliance; with all the combined resources (technical, financial and human), it took them 6 years and initial help from ISI to find him with only 60% certainty (President Obama).
    2. Complicit: Only a total idiot would leave the world’s most expensive human asset (materially worth US$ 25 million) unguarded while being aware that the whole world looking for him.

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  • Anonymous
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:43PM

    OBL is dead and gone, so lets move on….Just as CIA,MOSSAD,RAW, and the American Congress does what it needs to keep them safe so does ISI does what it needs to do. At least ISI dosnt shoot people dead on the street of Pakistan. If it wasn’t for ISI, we would be cleaning the toilets of the “White House ” and the “Raj Bhawan.”Recommend

  • indian response.
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:18PM

    Yeah u Paks r right. Pakistanis are so innocent. Damn I couldnt even say that with a straight face. Lol!

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  • Shah Pak
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:54PM

    @Umar:
    thtz y the cammondo unit put a bullet on an unarmed most wanted terrorist. They didnt even try to catch him alive…..grow up

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  • Zulaikha
    Feb 29, 2012 - 1:16AM

    There are millions of OBL and Mullah Omar in Quetta and surrounding areas – there are factories and centers where they are being cloned –

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  • Truthbetold
    Feb 29, 2012 - 2:11AM

    @Adnan:

    “DG ISI and MI should have resigned after the operation. How could he didn’t know about the whereabouts of the most wanted man in the world living in the back yard of a major military installation. Utter failure of our intelligence system.

    Why do you believe it is “Utter failure of our intelligence system”? Is it credible to believe in the fairy tale that Osama could be living so close to the top military academy without the support and help of the military/ISI agencies? If Osama decided to hide in a place all by himself, and assuming the Pakistani military/ISI were really against Osama hiding in Paksitan, wouldn’t it make more sense for Osama to go to a place like Somalia, Sudan etc. ?

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  • Anjum
    Feb 29, 2012 - 2:59AM

    @Bilal Anwar:
    Agree. Parroting indian …. Crying the lie enough many times dosn’t make it true. WMD all over again. Provide some bl.. Proofs. Then we are behind you. Dont believe – KNOW!

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  • Smoking Gun
    Feb 29, 2012 - 3:41AM

    Voila!.. PakMil needed to contact him through email. Couldn’t they just walk over from PMA to talk to him? This absolutely makes no sense. Why would he be so stupid to use emails? The same organization who used ancient sound based signaling systems in Somalia to stay off radar is now so lame to use email to chat to mid tier ISI officials. Really?

    Initial reports also claimed he didn’t have any internet at his home!

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  • Pragmatist
    Feb 29, 2012 - 11:52AM

    Sorry. But this is no news at all. If anyone was surprised by this news, please hit the “Recommend” button.

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  • Farhan
    Feb 29, 2012 - 1:59PM

    OBL drama will continue to haunt ISI and GHQ, no matter what we believe in because he caught right in the backyard of military academy.

    In Karachi, secret agencies personnels petrol 24-hours a day just to protect military residential areas, how can a sane person believe someone in ISI did not know about OBL?

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  • Reza Ali
    Feb 29, 2012 - 9:13PM

    There has never been any real evidence that our military, as an institution, was aware of the whereabouts of OBL. However given the changes in the mindset of the defense officers that set in during the Zia days, and have continued ever since, it is possible that individuals in the defense forces, serving and retired, may, purely in their private capacity, have had more information about it. Of course, the existence of “rouge” elements in the ISI is well known, and it is a documented fact that retired officers and men continue their contacts long after they are not carrying out their officially assigned duties.

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