American journalist Richard Miniter has claimed in his latest book that an officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) helped the CIA track down Osama Bin Laden and that army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani may have been informed of the Abbottabad raid five months in advance.
The book titled ‘Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him’, alleges that the ISI officer had walked into the CIA’s Islamabad station in August 2010 and provided vital help in tracing Bin Laden.
“In a never-before-reported account, Pakistan was more involved in the Bin Laden operation than Obama’s team admitted. When the CIA revealed that an ISI colonel had contacted the CIA in Islamabad and offered information about Bin Laden, a debate followed,” said the book.
“Was this a secret sign that the head of the ISI himself was pointing out Bin Laden’s hiding place or was the colonel actually the patriot who hated extremism that he claimed to be? Whatever the motivation, the CIA found Bin Laden’s hiding place within a month of the colonel’s visit,” the book claims.
According to the book, as the CIA found the Abbottabad compound where Bin Laden lived along with his family and started researching on the property, they found out that the land was “carved out” from the Pakistan Military Academy compound.
“Pakistan Army’s chief of staff may have been briefed in December 2010, five months before the nighttime raid on Bin Laden’s concrete castle,” the Press Trust of India quoted the book as saying. “No concrete facts about the operation were passed on, but an informal approval was sought.”
“Far from taking a risk, there are indications that a cover story had been developed with the Pakistani military and that Obama had their tacit consent for the mission,” claims Miniter, a former reporter with The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
Officials from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) were not immediately available for comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.