OBL raid: Abbottabad report ‘contradicts’ US version of events

Published: December 17, 2012
The report says the ISI had given to the CIA four phone numbers of the al Qaeda chief and two letters containing information of Bin Laden’s stay in Abbottabad.   PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The report says the ISI had given to the CIA four phone numbers of the al Qaeda chief and two letters containing information of Bin Laden’s stay in Abbottabad. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


The findings of the Abbottabad Commission are finally to be presented to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf – and will constitute the first official version of the events that took place on May 2, 2011, from Pakistan’s side.

The details are not scarce, but they are contradictory: the 700-page report consists of 200 recommendations compiled after interviewing 300 witnesses and 3,000 documents; however, the account described is completely different from the American version, according to a well-placed law ministry official assisting the commission. He spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.

According to the report, the findings are based on statements taken from Osama bin Laden’s family, his neighbours and government officials who entered the compound after the US special forces’ raid as well as senior government and military officials.

Law ministry official

Some of the details are surprisingly personal – Bin Laden lived in the compound from 2005 to 2011, never left the residence during his stay, and watched Al Jazeera Television for news alerts regarding al Qaeda.

During the raid that ended the life of the world’s ‘most wanted terrorist’, Bin Laden advised his family members to be patient and to read the Kalma Sharif.

Dr Afridi’s role

Dr Shakeel Afridi, a Pakistani doctor now notorious for helping the CIA trace the al Qaeda kingpin in the Abbottabad compound, was described in detail in the report. According to the findings, Dr Afridi was unaware of the fact that he was assigned to collect DNA samples of Bin Laden’s children.

Dr Afridi met CIA officials at an NGO office in Peshawar. After having a couple of meetings with the CIA officials, he agreed to carry out a hepatitis immunisation campaign exclusively in Abbottabad. The campaign was carried out thrice, but he failed to collect any blood or DNA samples.the report

After that, Dr Afridi acquired the services of a lady health worker for the immunisation campaign. She established contact with Khalid al Kuwaiti, Bin Laden’s messenger. Al Kuwaiti allowed her to administer hepatitis vaccine to the children on the condition that she would not enter the compound. The samples were obtained and sent to the US for confirmation.

The report also reveals that Dr Afridi had a device on him which a female CIA official from Islamabad used to contact him. The CIA obtained further information about Bin Laden through the same infrared enabled device.

The plan was an elaborate one. The doctor would travel to Islamabad, where he would meet the CIA official in a black car. Both Dr Afridi, and the agent, would in the car with their heads lowered to dodge intelligence agencies.

Dr Amna, the assistant of Dr Afridi, carried out a voice-matching process for Bin Laden’s wife Khairia.

The report further reveals that Dr Afridi was asked to wind up his project and leave Pakistan after the DNA confirmation. He was asked to shift to the US till the day when the Abbottabad compound was raided. The CIA paid Dr Afridi $10,000 for the phony campaign.

In its recommendations, the commission suggests that consolidating links with secret agencies of other countries, a comprehensive strategy to deter covert operations of foreign forces and military diplomacy would be the best way to halt May 2-style raids in the future.

The report says the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had given to the CIA four phone numbers of the al Qaeda chief and two letters containing information of Bin Laden’s stay in Abbottabad.


The law ministry official said the report was finalised two months ago, but could not be submitted to the prime minister because one of the commission’s members, former inspector general of police Abbas Khan, was undergoing heart treatment in the US and was thus not available.  “After clearance from the law ministry, the commission will now submit its report to the prime minister in a couple of weeks … members need to hold one last meeting to get their notes recorded,” the official told The Express Tribune.

He also revealed that “commission’s members had some serious differences when the findings were being recorded, which led to a delay of almost a year”.  He added that three members of the commission had already signed the report earlier and that the law ministry was then officially asked by head of the commission, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, to cancel the membership of Abbas Khan because he was not available to sign the report.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2012.


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Reader Comments (15)

  • Asad
    Dec 17, 2012 - 4:24AM

    From Dr. Afridi’s perspective… all this mess for $ 10,000 ? Not worth it…!!


  • gosh
    Dec 17, 2012 - 5:07AM

    the is story is not based on bin laden and findings….. but on Dr Shakeel….the information of which the author has collected from various newspapers and then filed………them in a story……..


  • qzj00
    Dec 17, 2012 - 5:38AM

    > The report says the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had given to the CIA four phone numbers of the al Qaeda chief and two letters containing information of Bin Laden’s stay in Abbottabad.

    So, the ISI knew about the Sheikh’s presence in Abbotabad, chose to do nothing except passing the information to CIA and then pretended it knew nothing about it. Why do we then single out Dr. Afridi?


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 17, 2012 - 5:43AM

    Waste of time and money.


  • Polpot
    Dec 17, 2012 - 6:13AM

    TTP now stands for: Tattoo Taliban of Pakistan
    the word tattoo also has an urdu meaning.


  • anwar
    Dec 17, 2012 - 6:50AM

    Dr. Afridi and in fact most NGO’s in Pakistan will now benow viewed in a different light.Recommend

  • Mango Man
    Dec 17, 2012 - 6:55AM

    Another report obfuscating facts and diverting the public’s attention!


  • cautious
    Dec 17, 2012 - 7:45AM

    So what exactly contradicts the American version of events?


  • True Picture
    Dec 17, 2012 - 9:46AM

    OBL was just an another CIA asset who was not useful to them any more. Please learn the facts behind the birth of Al-Qaede & OBL before anyone points finger at Pakistan. Move on now, he was never a threat, he was a dead end the moment US invaded Afghanistan since Al-Qaeda divided into different groups. Taliban is the main stakeholder in Afghanistan as US-Karzai have been in negotiations in Qatar & now they’ll be meeting in Paris, I guess now they are not a terrorist entity but when Pakistan wanted to have negotiations they opposed it, anyway its never too late :)


  • Dec 17, 2012 - 10:27AM

    But, the report contradicts many who believe Osama never lived in the compound and was brought dead.. What are his wives doing there?

    So, you are telling me, Osama was indeed living in the compound, comfortably, for so many years? How can that be? How can the Right Wing media in Pakistan be wrong?


  • Extra-ordinary villager
    Dec 17, 2012 - 10:56AM

    So americans have ‘bought’ Abbas khan too…if you can read between the lines. Even the best possible heart treatment is available here in Pakistan..whats he doing in US for the last 1year? We’re a nation for sale unfortunately


  • Dec 17, 2012 - 11:01AM

    How can one comments on a comprehensive report of 700 pages, after reading mere 7 sentence of its contents??? Unfair.


  • Irfan
    Dec 17, 2012 - 11:12AM

    A garbage report by the commission … because army officials didn’t cooperate the commission, so 100% useless then.


  • Enlightened
    Dec 17, 2012 - 11:28AM

    The report submitted may not be based on facts but the official version of the state especially military. As per contents of the report, the complicity of Dr Afridi involvement in this case has been reduced to a large extent which might help him in getting release soon or sentence reduced drastically.


  • huzaifa
    Jan 25, 2013 - 1:26PM

    It’s impossible that no body in Pakistani establishment and CIA knew about the location of Osama bin Laden. They were waiting for right moment to make the discovery.
    In my assesment, some how schedual got upset due to some unforseen reason.


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