'CIA exploited intelligence leads given by Pakistan'

Published: May 3, 2011
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Pakistani soldiers and police officials keep vigil near a building the hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after his death by US Special Forces in a ground operation in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011. Pakistan said that the killing of Osama bin Laden in a US operation was a "major setback" for terrorist organisations and a "major victory" in the country's fight against militancy. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani soldiers and police officials keep vigil near a building the hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after his death by US Special Forces in a ground operation in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011. Pakistan said that the killing of Osama bin Laden in a US operation was a "major setback" for terrorist organisations and a "major victory" in the country's fight against militancy. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday said that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had exploited intelligence leads given by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to identify and reach Osama bin Laden.

A lengthy statement released by the Pakistani Foreign Office said that ISI had been sharing information about the compound with the CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009 and had continued to do so until mid-April.

“It is important to highlight that taking advantage of much superior and technological assets, CIA exploited the intelligence leads given by us to identify and reach Osama bin Laden.”

The statement denied any prior knowledge of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but said it had been sharing information about the targeted compound with the CIA.

The al Qaeda leader was shot dead by US Special Forces in an attack on a sprawling compound near a military academy in the northwestern town of Abbottabad early on Monday.

“Neither any base nor facility inside Pakistan was used by the US forces, nor the Pakistan Army provided any operational or logistic assistance to these operations conducted by the US forces,” the statement said.

While Islamabad hailed the killing of bin Laden as an important milestone in the fight against terrorism, the statement said Pakistan had expressed “deep concerns” that the operation was carried out without informing it in advance.

“This event of unauthorised unilateral action cannot be taken as a rule,” the ministry said.

According to the statement, US helicopters entered Pakistani airspace by making use of “blind spots” in the radar coverage caused by the hilly terrain surrounding Abbottabad.

The foreign ministry said the Pakistani air force scrambled its jets within minutes of being informed of the US operation but there was no engagement with the US forces as they had already left Pakistani airspace.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • John
    May 3, 2011 - 8:53PM

    The PAK intelligence was capture of OBL courier and handing over to CIA, a few years back.

    PAK army is now trying damage control in explaining how PAK air space was breached without PAK knowing.

    “The foreign ministry said the Pakistani air force scrambled its jets “. The US PBS News Hour reported that it happened after a third back-up helicopter was dispatched from Afghanistan when one of the two helicopters that was sent earlier went down, at the conclusion of the mission.

    PAK jets were scrambled much later, well after the operation was under conclusion. In other words, PAK did not know of US until Abbottobad crash, thanks to noise, and gun fight.

    C-13O electronic jammer that was hovering around for about five hours, as reported in ET caught PAK air force with paints down.

    ET should report the news as such from all sources. In war and peace, press still has the same role as Fourth Estate. Recommend

  • omer
    May 3, 2011 - 8:59PM

    and we kept sharing the information, while ignoring the fact that couple of local plicemen could have just gone up to the house and looked for whats inside ?

    who is this government and army trying to fool ? people of this country are in a state of shock, not because osama was found here, but because of ineptitude shown by both the government and army in this whole episode.

    why are we spending billion on defence every year when we had to live and see this day ?
    army and intelligence have a big question mark hanging on there head. if bin laden was there, why they did not knew ? and if they did not knew, why did they let US forces reach abbotabad and conduct such an operation ?

    i wonder someday we would wake up and find out that we are not a nuclear nation any more, with some kind of similar explaination given like some XYZ came and stole our nukes due to blind spots in our radar coverage ?

    and where is the mighty airforce ? last we were told that the scramble time is less than 3 minuties (after mumbai drama). so i guess in those 40 minutes the airforce should have been able to scramble atleast 10 times ?

    just lies and deciet, thats what has become of our government and establishment.

    stop giving billions to this lazy, currupt and inept army. spend more on education and health. and lastly.

    we keep hearing that army is the most disciplened organization in this country, so where is the resignation Mr. Kiyani and Mr. Pasha ?!?Recommend

  • Bully
    May 3, 2011 - 9:08PM

    Scrambling our jets, my foot. As far as I know Lahore is much closer to our border with India. What if tomorrow our friends from the east decide to do an excursion on their jets? Will we still be doing the same.Recommend

  • Kanishka
    May 3, 2011 - 9:11PM

    pakistan should have used short range nuclear capable missiles on the intruders :)…Recommend

  • Patriot
    May 3, 2011 - 9:26PM

    Our jets scrambled after completion of operation, What they did? Shame on our security establishment. Some HEADS shoudl roll. Recommend

  • Sara
    May 3, 2011 - 9:35PM

    M surprised about the news broke by BBC in around 2006
    That Usama died of MALRIA

    What was that?

    And when Usama was under treatment in a hospital at Dubai, it was in knowledge of CIA
    Why didnt they catch him then?

    and what about then?
    when Alqaeda Leadership having BONE FIRE in AFGHANISTAN, Reported by Gen. Zia u Din.

    Why CIA didnt attack on them at that time?

    All this operation is a TOPI DRAMA

    America cant make us fool, yes , to its nation may be.Recommend

  • unbiased
    May 3, 2011 - 9:37PM

    @Kanishka:
    Just the kind of non sense one would expect from an Indian!Recommend

  • shankar
    May 3, 2011 - 9:37PM

    Scrambling our jets? They were probably scrambling eggs. With excuses.Recommend

  • Talha
    May 3, 2011 - 9:38PM

    @Bully: western border is better protected, eastern border only has frontier corps and few helicopters Recommend

  • Atheist, India
    May 3, 2011 - 9:42PM

    @Kanishka – It’s good that you have started commenting on sites but sometimes it good not to say anything at all.Recommend

  • Hammad
    May 3, 2011 - 9:49PM

    After this we have no choice but to declare the ISI & Army inept / useless. All they want are free plots and more money. Either that or they have been working against the security of our state and our dear country. We will not have a country if we let these fools continue with their useless tactics. Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    May 3, 2011 - 9:53PM

    The statement made by the Pak foreign office that it shared information with USA about the compound where Osama lived since 2009, but what prevented them to search this premises located in heart of Pakistan and arrest him anytime during this period? This is a highly damaging statement made by the foreign office which will further erode Pakistan’s credibility. Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    May 3, 2011 - 9:53PM

    Yeah right……. Near PMA. You think people are morons like you. I hate to say this but ARMY chief should be fired along with ISI chief. and President can’t save him in the next elections.Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    May 3, 2011 - 10:14PM

    The PAF jets and also the new ones that we just got can go and take a dive in deep sea water for all the people care.Recommend

  • Ali
    May 3, 2011 - 10:19PM

    @Kanishka:
    No, those are meant for Bharat and Bharat alone.Recommend

  • KM
    May 3, 2011 - 10:22PM

    First Raymond Davis and now this … I believe our army is getting over ambitious by the day, given the amount they take away from our taxes … With regards to the politicians, they are already sold to the agencies, to stay in power, so what will they represent of the people of Pakistan?Recommend

  • May 3, 2011 - 10:32PM

    Why does the US know about our blind spots? Or do they always occur in hilly areas?Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    May 3, 2011 - 10:38PM

    @John:
    The very Idea that some blind spots were used to enter Pak Airspace, says it all about its Armed Forces Actual Ability to deal with anything, except Making Money and Begging for New Toys!!!!Recommend

  • Dingo
    May 3, 2011 - 10:49PM

    Foreign office…. Are we blind or what… Please don’t give such lame excuses….we are not stupid anymore…..I m predicting… It’s coming war time or extremely tough time for our nuclear assets security….mark my word foreign office..and all sold people’s…Recommend

  • Hasan
    May 3, 2011 - 10:50PM

    If ISI knew of the compound as early as 2009 whey did ISI not take action in so many months instead of waiting so long that CIA had to make its move? ISI’s explanation stinks. They are not telling us the truth.Recommend

  • Ali
    May 3, 2011 - 10:51PM

    Haha..what a joke…shame on Pak armed forces..Dr. Afia’s sister has already offered you her bangles…Pakistan ka Allah hi Haiz hai…the armed forces is busy gurading their real estate and cng stations…Recommend

  • sumeet
    May 3, 2011 - 10:53PM

    another blantant lie prepared by the ISI to save their face.why did not they come up with this statement immediately after OBL’s death?US has already told that it was an all out CIA effort to reach to door of osama,neither they shared intelligence report that they fear might get leaked.who is pakistan and ISI trying to fool?Recommend

  • Ali
    May 3, 2011 - 10:55PM

    If this is democracy as Pasha and Kiyani to resign..if they cannot defend the country then please leave the job…shame on you both…Recommend

  • Babloo
    May 3, 2011 - 11:04PM

    CIA stole Pakistan’s stretegic asset from Abbotabad.Recommend

  • AnIndian
    May 3, 2011 - 11:31PM

    “Pakistan would have alerted targets if included in operation”: Leon Panetta, Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency…Recommend

  • I_love_Pakistan
    May 3, 2011 - 11:36PM

    I suggest our political leadership must sack Army and ISI chiefs and let them face the court as to why they have put our national security at risk by not knowing who was living their next door. Recommend

  • ashwin
    May 4, 2011 - 12:00AM

    @Kanishka: very NaughtyRecommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    May 4, 2011 - 12:28AM

    Too bad for Pakistan that OBL was killed not in FATA or Afghanistan, but in an elite location within the country. He could not be there for months or possibly years, without the the knowledge and support of someone highly palced.

    How can the State Establishment not have knowledge of the Ownership of Land, Building Plan of the Fortress [an approval is required for construction], Electricity, Water and Gas Services & their Bills.

    Will someone come forward now to tell us that the place was built and maintained by Djins from King Solomon?

    The Americans will certainly expose the protectors when they choose to do so, letting the world know of the hypociracy of our society and establishment. Recommend

  • curious1
    May 4, 2011 - 12:42AM

    ‘CIA exploited intelligence leads given by Pakistan’
    Is it bad or good!!!Recommend

  • Wollstonecraft
    May 4, 2011 - 12:51AM

    Time to buy some radars – Made in USA to track intruding helicopters – Made in USA flown by men – Born in USA.

    Wonder what happened to the flying tin cans aka long range, short range, medium range missiles Made in Pakistan? Plausible reasons:

    (1) The soldiers were asleep (like the rest of the nation) when the operation took place.
    (2) Abbottabad woke up to a massive explosion but the soldiers were still asleep.
    (3) When the soldiers finally woke up, they couldn’t find the codes to the missiles and the General sahib can’t be disturbed until 0930 hours, after he has had his breakfast & read the morning papers. Of course by that time the fish has eaten the evidence.
    (4) Had someone triggered the missile it would have missed the target regardless and landed either in Waziristan or better still, Islamabad killing Mukhtara Mai. The fish can have her as dessert.

    This has got to be the worst **up in the history of the nation. Watch out when two more choppers cross the border at night land in GHQ given the generals a nice shave and a head massage and fly out. We’ll read it in the morning papers.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    May 4, 2011 - 1:29AM

    It is naive to think that Americans just appear out of nowhere and pawned bin Laden. The military was in it for good and they did the right thing.Recommend

  • Net Netaji
    May 4, 2011 - 1:42AM

    Basically, don’t take PANGA with the United States.
    Don’t play double games either.
    Surrender the remaining strategic assets to the
    US, UK and India, as applicable.
    (I can already hear the suitcases being packed
    in Karachi at Dawood Bhai’s residence.)
    Will the Memon bhais be joining him too?
    How about Kasab’s handlers?
    Mumbai and India await you with great good wishes.
    Lastly ISI and Pak army are lame.
    Here is a credible conspiracy theory for elaboration.
    India’s RAW passed on OBL’s co-ordinates to the US intel,
    as a palliative for not awarding them the fighter jet deal,
    and also to let the US know that true friends help out.
    Not stab them in the back.
    Something, the Pakistani establishment excels at. Recommend

  • QB
    May 4, 2011 - 2:04AM

    Why haven’t Kiyani and Pasha resigned yet. Such a high value target under their nose. How else the incompetence needs to be proved before they resign? Time for Zardari and Gilani to go as well.Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    May 4, 2011 - 4:23AM

    I agree with Omer and QB, top brass should resign immediately.Recommend

  • Chotta Chetan
    May 4, 2011 - 4:27AM

    Pakistan should outsource the security of the nation to China…this would not have happened…Chinese made radars, guns, ammunition etc are the best (when they work that is)Recommend

  • amjad
    May 4, 2011 - 4:41AM

    What an idiotic statement!!! Sharing information with CIA!!! What prevented them from capturing Bin Ladin? The truth is they are mere incompetent. Problem with Pakistan and Pakistanis are they are always in denial, they will never admit their mistakes or weaknesses. Every one is an expert on everything, they have no problem shooting from the hip. This country and its leaders need to know, that they have brought shame to the country and its people. This country has lost respect in the comity of nations. It requires lot of courage to ones mistake, but that is what this country needs. Hiding behind lame excuses is not going to work and should not work.Recommend

  • Zubaida Minhas
    May 4, 2011 - 5:13AM

    I think we the people of Pakistan are having a brain freeze. The world is watching as we scramble and try to make excuses how Osama lived in an affluent neighborhood near a military base and our local ISI that have been receiving billions from the Americans had no idea where Osama Bin Laden was located and recently Musharraf and Gilani appeared on international television shows and denied the existence of Osama in the area.
    If we confessed that we screwed up and promised to have consequences like Kiyani and Pasha resign we would be be respected in the meaning world stage. Instead we sound like bumbling incompetent…idiots who have no idea of the threat that is destroying the fiber of our being.
    But unlike our Egyptian bothers the citizens of Pakistan do not have the courage to demand proper change as we have a system so corrupt from the top to all the way to the street we are willing to deal with mess all around us.Recommend

  • vasan
    May 4, 2011 - 6:12AM

    Kayani and Pasha resigning?? You guys must be joking. Wait for Kayani to take over as President and pasha as PM.Recommend

  • May 4, 2011 - 6:45AM

    US Pak war coming soon. When empires collapse we have world wars. Also Pak needs to be disciplined for making alliances with China and Saudia ditching US too with Bandar visits confirming something big soon.Recommend

  • Talha
    May 4, 2011 - 6:50AM

    @Kanishka:
    when india has solved all its problems then u can comment untill then go and burry 11 police officers killed yesterday by maoistRecommend

  • Pragmatist
    May 4, 2011 - 6:56AM

    The Americans have a master “Kill Switch” in all the military equipment they provide to the Pakistanis. The “kill” signal is said to piggy-back on GPS pings. The Americans can render useless every piece of hardware Pakistan owns in a jiffy. Does anyone honestly think that the Americans will trust a rogue nation like Pakistan with the latest military hardware?Recommend

  • saqib wasim
    May 4, 2011 - 7:14AM

    i m shocked by the unawareness of our own army and isi and us operation deep inside pakistan’s main stream populated area abbot abad. i m loosing confidence on my army and isi. in past two days trying to understand that why the hell we spend billion of rupees on our defense and keep our stomach empty if that is useless. do we make these things to keep ourselves happy. as a matter of fact pakistan is scared. and when you are scared these atom bombs and ballistic missiles can not defend you by their own. the pride that i use to feel before this operation on my army is missing now……….. i want it back ………….i want it back Recommend

  • fauzia
    May 4, 2011 - 7:52AM

    yeah i live 15 minutes away from ghazi base we cud hear the helicopters i find it impossible that the radars didnt spot them our govt needs to stop being afriad of al qaeda coz they r going to bomb us anyway Recommend

  • Shahid
    May 4, 2011 - 7:52AM

    Fire Pasha and Kiany and top ten generals for defense failure and complicity with terrorist organisations. Our army needs serious surgery, otherwise we are doomed. terrorist will kill us as we are part of WOT and world community will kill us for harboring terrorists. The tunnel vision generals are playing with fire and our futures.Recommend

  • Joe Blog
    May 4, 2011 - 7:54AM

    Pakistanis are either FUNNY or really pathalogical LIARS, the fact is that US Special Forces have been occupying the so-called Ghazi base at Tarbela dam since 2001. The helicopter flight to the so-called safehouse was merely 15 minutes. If the incompetent Pakistani military can’t even keep tabs on low flying internal helicopter flights, no wonder they have lost every major conflict against India. Pakistan seems to be a real pathetic case and it is now incumbent upon the US/NATO to neutralize Pakistani “nukes” if they really have that capability, which I seriously doubt. Pakistan is built on total lies and corruption. Not s single US dollar should go to such a cesspool of ignorant Wahabbi fundementalism.Recommend

  • Saddique
    May 4, 2011 - 9:15AM

    @Net Netaji:

    Delivery the strategic assets through Air to India. Recommend

  • J Oberoi
    May 4, 2011 - 9:31AM

    Kiyani and Pasha must be designated as terrorists for lying and misleading the world community for 10 years and making money out of sham military “operations”.
    With US public overwhelmingly upset with the Pakistanis, it will be interesting to see where the 26/11 court case in the US will go. I won’t be surprised if they deliver a guilty verdict on ISI complicity which by now, seems obvious.Recommend

  • ali
    May 4, 2011 - 9:55AM

    @QB:
    I agree, govt must aportion balme to those responsible for intelligence failure.
    High time for the military leadership, responsibility must be accepted and those who are responsible must step down.
    Let younger military leadership to take charge of the situation and help solve Pakistan’s startegic issues.Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    May 4, 2011 - 11:12AM

    The Pak fighter jets and helicopters who were understandably out-smarted by their American counterparts, are likely to make amends to this debacle. According to some unofficial sources, they are on the search mission to locate the body of the prized possession in deep seas which if found will be handed over to their strategic assets to avoid their backlash. Recommend

  • intelektual
    May 4, 2011 - 12:07PM

    I dont know what is the truth, but here are some facts and the only rational (to me)possible conclusion.
    movement of 3 Helicopters on a large streched path for hours long operation ! blind spots are unlikly to cover that ! you would need blind n defined highways !

    May be the army knew all along, and decided not to disclose their alliance and silence.
    The rational and brave reason for which could be that army prefered to face the people’s hatred and questions but to keep our Nation protected from the Al-Qaeda’s reaction and attempts at desperate revenge; may be that is why they did not do nything on their own and let the US deal with OBL; giving no possible reason to AQ to direct their frustrated revenge at Paki Ppl.
    Also if they disclosed their alliaiances God knws how the political mullas wud hav reacted !!

    Also i wonder y the US thanked Paki

    Scared out of their pants US operatives who managed to crash their own helicopter without any resistance.
    Shot Dead OBL without any resistance !
    No photograph released till date !Recommend

  • PriyaSuraj
    May 4, 2011 - 2:09PM

    I think it is foolish for people to believe that Pakistan has not helped America in counter terrorism (in general). The problem lies in the fact that Pakistan believes in the state policy of terrorism. They are therefore selective in their approach. So Afghan Taliban are good (because they help establish the so called strategic depth) but Pakistan Taliban are bad (because they challenge the State writ). And let us just forget about the people India calls terrorists (those are probably as respected as the Armed Forces of Pakistan). So Pakistan does help in counter terrorism against those it thinks (or is forced to by US) terrorists. OBL has a fan following in Pakistan (most certainly in ISI and Army also). It was only due to American pressure that they declared him a terrorist. He was most wanted by USA (not Pakistan if they had the freedom to choose). And Pakistanis over the years have become adept at blackmailing others for money or concessions. Talk to us or we will not control terrorism in Kashmir, give us money or we cannot control what will happen to our nukes. I think this psychology must have led them to protect OBL (once they got hold of him due to their linkages with various terror outfits) to be traded at the opportune time. Only they were outwitted by the CIA. And even this incident will not change the fact that they will continue to look at terrorism through rose tinted glasses. They will only be kicking themselves in the heels at missed opportunities (trading OBL for money or concession, killing him before CIA got to him and taking the credit) and the loss of face.Recommend

  • imran
    May 4, 2011 - 2:25PM

    All top brass of Army and Air force should be fired and held accountable. Enogh is enoghRecommend

  • Hedgefunder
    May 4, 2011 - 3:32PM

    @Fahad Raza:
    I agree with you, however there is a little matter of who actually can fire these guys from their Jobs!!!
    I am not sure that either the President or the Prime minister actually can fire these guys, regardless of what the Constitution says!!!
    So who is going to do the deed???
    Yes i guessed right, No One!!!!Recommend

  • Khurdra
    May 4, 2011 - 9:03PM

    @Hedgefunder:
    I think you have forgotten the battering your airforce got at hands of PAF in 1965…..!!!!
    stop doing the BLAH BLAH and be real…..Your IAF does not even have the technology to counter such stealth attack by Chinese copters….let alone US……!!!!!!!Recommend

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