Abbottabad raid: Pakistan knew about increased US activity

Published: June 19, 2011
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Policemen stand guard outside the hideout house of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Policemen stand guard outside the hideout house of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: 

Pakistan was aware of increased US intelligence activity in Abbottabad weeks before the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, an Arab diplomat with direct knowledge of the events told CNN on Saturday. The diplomat, who wished to remain anonymous, said Pakistan knew what America was doing but “never, never had any idea the operation was about Bin Laden.” The diplomat was approached privately by a Pakistani to inquire about heightened US intelligence-gathering activities. He said it was assumed Pakistan was asking all Arab allies.

The diplomat said he is sure officials in Pakistan “had no idea where Bin Laden was.” He also said “it was always clear (Ayman) al Zawahiri was going to replace Bin Laden.” “It’s not in their culture to go with someone else. They (al Qaeda) value loyalty,” the diplomat said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Jun 19, 2011 - 10:27AM

    Well, what do you know?? Our Arab brothers knew more than ISI and secondly, like the Arab fraternity, they are always ready to squeal on their religious brothers to the West. In this case the CNN. Let me fresh your memories. Not too long ago when A Q Khan was in the news the Iranians disclosed to the IAEA that they had received drawings a centrifuges from Pakistan, and when the West had quarantined Libya and diverted ships carrying nuclear manufacturing parts Dr. Saif ul Islam came on the BBC to state that Pakistan had given them the know-how and the drawings for making a nuclear component. Yes, our Arab and Islamic brothers were right up-front to screw Pakistan. That is why I firmly believe that one should rely upon oneself instead of one’s brother. You never know when they are going to put a knife in your back. This is also distinguishes us and the West. They don’t destroy their own kind for a few pieces of silver.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 19, 2011 - 10:28AM

    They all knew about the US activities. Out of several helicopters only two were stealth and the rest could be easily detectable. Americans did not disclose the specifics about the operation but they have given the information about their presence, so there would be no hindrance. In fact before the helicopters landed near the compound, they stopped and refueled in the north of Abbottabad. The local villagers showed their landing place and it was shown on some TV stations also. As the more facts come out we would know it was not all a surprise. In this day and age, even an ordinary person can see several helicopters flying low and use his cell phone or Internet to inform the world. This is exactly what was happening when the US bombed Serbia several years ago. When the US bombers were flying out, the neighbors would inform the Serbians to get ready via cell phones and Internet. Recommend

  • Haider
    Jun 19, 2011 - 2:43PM

    talk about something else….. its an old wound now.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Jun 19, 2011 - 4:26PM

    @Mirza:
    “In this day and age, even an ordinary person can see several helicopters flying low and use his cell phone or Internet to inform the world. This is exactly what was happening when the US bombed Serbia several years ago. “
    It happened in this instance, too. A Pakistani put it on twitter as the helicopters were flying in!Recommend

  • Andrea
    Jun 19, 2011 - 4:31PM

    So sad that that there is no co operation between all these so called Allies to help solve the problems associated with criminals.Recommend

  • Rehan
    Jun 19, 2011 - 4:35PM

    The Arabization of Pakistan has destroyed us. Get the hell out, we hate you.Recommend

  • ani
    Jun 19, 2011 - 4:49PM

    Pakistani leaders are damned no matter how they spin this:

    If they knew – why did they not participate with the US or oppose them before hand?
    If they did not know – why did they not know depsite all this ‘ally’ stuff?
    If they could not stop them – what good is this army and its equipment?

    Time to let it die, if it will ever. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 19, 2011 - 10:05PM

    @G. Din:
    Of course that is what I was saying. And yet most Pakistanis and army claims to be unaware of the US mission. When would they start telling the truth and stop hiding the facts. Recommend

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