Bin Laden Had No Help from State Elements in Pakistan: CIA Files

Since the 2011 raid that took out the al Qaeda head honcho, there had been much speculation in the Western world on whether Osama bin Laden had support from within the Pakistani security establishment to hide at stone’s throw from a top military academy.
America’s Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, rummaged through a treasure trove of documents seized from Bin Laden’s compound but couldn’t find anything that could suggest the world’s most wanted terrorist had any support from the establishment.
The al Qaeda chief was killed in a secret raid by US special forces at his compound near the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
The raid triggered intense speculation that the world’s No 1 terrorist had the support of elements in the Pakistani security establishment.
The CIA released nearly 470,000 additional files recovered during the Abbottabad raid, revealing new information about the terrorist group.
There is a lot of interest in whether these documents contain details about the people who were helping or supporting the ‘most wanted man in the world’ while he was living in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s role in the war on terror, and the help American forces have received in the capture of some senior al Qaeda operatives over the years, has swayed US administrations in the past.
But there have also been concerns that there is a state-sponsored militant support group which helps terrorists like Bin Laden to take shelter in the country.
Despite speculations, there is little evidence to lend credence to claims that there were elements within the Pakistan security establishment who helped the al Qaeda chief reside in the country.
However, a meticulous review of the newly released documents might shed some light on this matter in the coming days.
According to The New York Times, one of Bin Laden’s trusted associates, whose mobile phone was seized during the raid, apparently had some contacts with the Harkatul Mujahideen group, a banned militant outfit which operates in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda has actively helped anti-state terrorist groups inside Pakistan wage a war on its government and citizens from across the border in Afghanistan.
Although the members of US Special Forces took everything they could from the compound, there was some intelligence left behind which was scooped up by local law enforcement officials and has not been made public.
Whatever the verdict, the released documents do offer a unique chance for journalists, experts, academics and public intellectuals to garner a better understanding of the inner workings of al Qaeda. – The Express Tribune




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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