Pakistan government knew where Osama was: Carl Levin

Published: May 6, 2011
A Pakistani policeman attempts to stop the media outside the building which served as a hideout to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden  PHOTO:AFP

A Pakistani policeman attempts to stop the media outside the building which served as a hideout to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden PHOTO:AFP

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin in an interview with ABC News has said that he believes senior Pakistani officials knew Osama Bin Laden’s location. He added that he had “no doubt” they know the location of other top terrorists, including Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Levin said Mullah Omar was living in Pakistan along with leaders of the Haqqani network.

Levin stated this in an interview for ABC’s “Subway Series” With Jonathan Karl. During the interview, Levin added that he could not back this statement with proof, but reflected that he “could not imagine how someone higher up didn’t know it.”

The Senate Armed Services Committee has started a preliminary investigation into Pakistan’s involvement and may hold public hearings based on the results, Levin added.

Earlier, CIA chief Leon Panetta had stated that the CIA kept Islamabad out of the loop on the operation fearing that it could jeopardise the Abbottabad operation and “might alert the targets.”

Britain and France in unison also doubted Pakistan’s version that its intelligence agencies had no knowledge of the  al Qaeda kingpin living in undetected luxury, right under the nose of the prestigious military training academy.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Noor Nabi
    May 6, 2011 - 8:17PM

    The only other plausible alternative to Senator Levin’s assertion is that Pakistan’s security agencies are a bunch of incompetent people who were asleep while on duty. A high-level commission headed by a respected retired Judge of the Supreme Court, that should also include somebody with the stature of retired General Talat Masood, should be set up to get to the bottom of the debacle. An inquiry conducted by the ISI or the military – without any civilian involvement, will only be a joke. Pakistan’s future as well as its reputation are at great risk if an independent high-level commission is not formed to investigate the Abbottabad debacle.Recommend

  • Cautious
    May 6, 2011 - 8:27PM

    He’s got a lot of political pull – this does not bode well for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Tilsim
    May 6, 2011 - 8:31PM

    At least someone is going to hold a public hearing into this grave matter. It should be us but surprise surprise, it’s the US again that is doing the dirty work for us.Recommend

  • Malik Rashid
    May 6, 2011 - 8:36PM

    “A meeting with one such person in 2006, which I recounted in my last book on Pakistan, confirmed that Bin Laden was in the country and being kept safe. The person concerned told me the Americans only wanted Bin Laden dead, but that it was in Pakistan’s interest to keep him alive. In his words: “Why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?” – a reference to the billions in aid and weaponry being supplied to the army. At the time I wasn’t sure whether my informant was fantasising to amuse or misinform me; he was obviously telling the truth.”
    Bin Laden’s death: ‘Why kill the goose?’-Tariq Ali

    In 2008, Christiane Amanpour said Osama Bin Laden lives in a villa

  • May 6, 2011 - 9:16PM

    Well, Americans trained Osama and now they killed him. I also cannot believe ISI version that they did not know about his whereabouts. But, similarly, I cannot trust Americans on any count, including that they are supporting democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq although reality is much different. So, as Americans can and do lie, so can others. What’s the big deal. Recommend

  • adeel qadri
    May 6, 2011 - 9:17PM

    So its coming out now… we know you stab at the back… friends from the front..even after loosing almost everything for this so called war of terror… still we are the culprits. All co-operation with US must stop now. How cleverly they are making grounds to attack Pakistan.Recommend

  • Skin Taj
    May 6, 2011 - 10:41PM

    This guy Senator Levin is a senile and lunatic person, who lobby’s for India.
    Look at his previous track record.
    If USA pays the minimal compensation to each Pakistani soldier and civilian who died in USA’s war on terror, they will still owe billions to pay…
    Look how much they spent to hunt ONE person (OBL) and how many were given as a captured gift by Pakistan to them……

    He and few other Senators in USA live in fools paradise and make statements from their glass houses in Beverly hills….Recommend

  • harkol
    May 6, 2011 - 10:57PM

    @Adeel Qadri

    Osama wasn’t dropped into pakistan, he was there for a reason.

    Friends? Really?!! For what?? So, Pakistan can have one way street for all the US tax payer money? Pakistan keeps claiming inability to get control of its own territory, and still says it should be respected.

    Pakistan should instead openly invite an UN multi-national force to clean up its stables, that have been muddied by decades worth of useless Army strategy.Recommend

  • Aamir
    May 6, 2011 - 11:37PM

    If it was in Pakistan’s interest to hide OBL then I’m sure ISI or Pak Army would have done fabulous job but I strongly believe under the prevailing situation ISI or Pak Army is not that naïve to hide OBL and tell the world that “we don’t know anything about OBL”.

    It’s a CIA / Mossad / RAW joint-venture to impose war on Pakistan and destroy the its nukes.

    100% blame goes to our inept leadership who has put us into this precarious situation.Recommend

  • billo
    May 6, 2011 - 11:46PM

    @adeel qadri: or how stupidly we are making the grounds for them. Cuba, Iran, Syria – there are many countries that have defied the US but been clever enough not to give the US too much room to intervene. Our military has always wanted to be a US ally, and yet its games are stupid enough to disgrace the entire country and deliver up Pakistan on a platter. Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 7, 2011 - 12:37AM

    @Noor Nabi:
    Keep dreaming! Even if there is the said commission and its report comes out it would have the same fate as the Rehman Commission Report. As long as this army and ISI is the owner of country, no such report would ever see the light of the day.

    The same number of military officials would be fired as were on the abject surrender of our 100000 brave troops. When after the worst defeat and surrender in the human history the army continued its games, what makes one think that they would change this time? Recommend

  • Maria Siddiqui
    May 7, 2011 - 12:47AM

    The latest news is that Pakistan didn’t know the CIA had rented another house close to Bin Laden’s lair as a stakeout!

    So either the ISI is incredibly inept or two-faced. If their claims of not knowing the CIA was there are true, the dubious claim that they were totally clueless (with regards to Bin Laden) seems a tad more plausible.Recommend

  • Maria Siddiqui
    May 7, 2011 - 12:59AM

    Supposedly the Pakistanis didn’t know the CIA had set up shop close to Bin Laden’s lair either. If this is to be believed then the dubious claim that they didn’t know where OBL was seems a tad bit possible. Recommend

  • Mullistan
    May 7, 2011 - 1:05AM

    Of course they knew. Pak was getting aid/bhikh and didn’t want show to close. Recommend

  • sundar
    May 7, 2011 - 1:40AM

    Pakistan civilian govt? I am not so sure. But Pak army and ISI no questions. They are the custodians of not only Osama but possibly other high profile terrorists, Mulla Omar, Dawood etc. part of ‘strategic depth'(death). Recommend

  • militree
    May 7, 2011 - 1:54AM

    As an army man myself it was important to have OBL as a trump card to get money from US to fund pakistani military there is nothing wrong in it. All pakistani army generals knew he was protected by ISI. Kudos to ISI for keeping him under wraps from sep 2011 onwards.Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    May 7, 2011 - 2:35AM

    @ Ammer Hamza

    Two wrongs do not make a right. It would befit your country and your values if you took the moral high ground instead of saying that you can lie if others lie. This debacle is a very serious milestone in the history of Pakistan and one should not allow the focus to shift away from the subject of ISI’s complicity/incompetence as the answer affects 180 million innocent people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Massileaks
    May 7, 2011 - 3:18AM

    Mr. Panetta, When 4 hijacked airplanes were heading towards the most important buildings in the US, was CIA’s lack of action, a sign of incompetence or involvement?Recommend

  • Begum Ziabunissah Hamidullah
    May 7, 2011 - 3:53AM

    @Ameer Hamza & @adeel qadrii many feel your pain….even more are perplexed at your insistence to play the victim card. After taking all the foreign aid from America all these years it is easy to criticize. If we in Pakistan were an ideal state with a nation of people with no violence, no corruption where minorities could live safe and in peace THEN you can make the demands.
    But look around you we are a nation in chaos filled with conspiracy theories a divided nation that continues to blame the rest of the world for our ills. We refuse to accept responsibility and do not have the moral courage or fortitude to stand up for our beliefs and protect our families. People are leaving in droves rather than live in a nation that is coming undone.
    The recent blow where a terrorist that infused hatred and fear into our society that kept the people of a nation as prisoners of fear we are defending his actions and offered him peaceful asylum to carry out his violent acts, what does one conclude of such people?
    Who is playing the war on terror and who are the victims? Recommend

  • akash
    May 7, 2011 - 4:08AM

    @Ameer Hamza.. yes thats right.. and thats why America is routinely criticised for it.. as is pakistan.. the big deal is America is a super power and throws money at pakistan and thats why it gets away Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    May 7, 2011 - 6:29AM

    This is not news at all. It is a well known fact that these terrorist leaders will not survive a week without the support of the Pakistani army and the ISI. Every terrorist leader in hiding has the support of the establishment. The US must cut off all aid until these leaders are brought to justice.Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 7, 2011 - 8:01AM

    @Noor Nabi:
    The commission’s report would never be published as long as the army has the real power. Keep dreaming, even though it is a pleasant dream. Recommend

  • Armaghan
    May 7, 2011 - 8:40AM

    Hmm seems N.Waziristan operation pressure won’t ease but pile on in the coming days, since Omar is now sharing accommodation with the Haqqanis. This is new.Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    May 7, 2011 - 12:04PM

    @Noor Nabi:
    So far no report of any high level commission has been made public so what are expecting from this commission??? Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    May 7, 2011 - 12:08PM

    “According to his Yemeni wife , Osama has been living in Pakistan for 7and half years. For two nad a half years he was living in a village, Chak Shah Mohammad in Haripur Hazara, on main Abbottabad road.”
    Simply cannot believe that people who mattered were not aware of his presence in these two places. Recommend

  • Ashraf
    May 8, 2011 - 1:36PM

    Old news ! Have you got anything new Mr.Levin?Recommend

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