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02 May 2011

USA-Pakistani strike force kills Osama bin Laden near Pakistan's capital

Click map to enlarge.

Reuters (UK newswire)
Pickup by Dawn
(English-language daily, Pakistan, founded 1941)
Monday 2 May 2011

Senior ISI official
confirms bin Laden

[ISI = Inter-Services Intelligence, 
Pakistan's intelligence service]

ABBOTTABAD -- Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people and put the United States on a decade-long war footing, was killed late Sunday night in Abbottabad by a joint American and Pakistani team, senior security officials said on Monday.

“Yes, I can confirm that,” one senior intelligence official told Reuters, but declined to give further details.

Another security official in Peshawar confirmed it was a joint operation between CIA and Pakistani security forces.

“It was carried out on a very precise info that some high-value target is there,” he said.

A Pakistani military helicopter crashed near Abbottabad on Sunday night, killing one and wounding two, according to Pakistani media. It was unclear if the crash was related to bin Laden’s death, but witnesses reported gunshots and heavy firing before one of two low-flying helicopters crashed near the Pakistani Military Academy.

The police blocked the road leading to Pakistan’s military academy, a Reuters photographer on the scene reported.

“I have seen tail and two wings of the chopper,” a labourer told Reuters. The fact bin Laden was apparently living in relative luxury not far from Islamabad could pose awkward questions for Pakistan.

“For some time there will be a lot of tension between Washington and Islamabad because bin Laden seems to have been living here close to Islamabad,” said Imtiaz Gul, a security analyst.

“If the ISI had known then somebody within the ISI must have leaked this information. Pakistan will have to do a lot of damage control because the Americans have been reporting he is in Pakistan. This is a serious blow to the credibility of Pakistan.”

But defence analyst and former general Talat Masood said the fact bin Laden was killed in a joint operation would limit the damage to Pakistan’s image. “There should be a sigh of relief because this will take some pressure off of Pakistan,” said defence analyst and former general Talat Masood.

“Pakistan most probably has contributed to this, and Pakistan can take some credit for this -- being such an iconic figure, it’s a great achievement.”

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patfromch said...

I would like to see the official autopsy file from a forensic pathologist, confirmation from an odonthologist concurring dental records DNA proof. the works, please ! From independent sources, if possible. As Man On The Ground I have reason not to believe the media these days. Blurry photos of a bearded individual and the claim that the ashes have already been distributed in the sea make me suspicious (not at least because I know someone who works in this trade. All you want to know right now is that you simply can't just burn a body)

I am not a grinch, nutcase or conspiracy freak, I want rational scientific data, proof and evidence that would stand in court.

James J. Olson said...

Please explain to me why we are still sending $3bn a year to Pakistan?

Vleeptron Dude said...

We can choose where we want to go to war, but we can't choose the local politics of these whack, meshugineh places.

Long before the Taliban and al Qaida and OBL, Pakistan's entire foreign and military policy, and its body politic, was designed around two things:

* Death to India
* a strong, stable Afghanistan is a threat to Pakistan

No amount of US money is going to transform Pakistan into a modern, Western-leaning nation whose "big picture" politics and diplomacy parallels the (reasonable, rational) wishes of the USA.

And much like Afghanistan, very little of Pakistan is directly under the control and authority of the central government in Islamabad. Huge regions are feudal states run by medieval warlords.

It's sort of like the United States, except that Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and the Dakotas do whatever the heck they want, and Washington DC has no power to make them obey federal laws.

As to your question -- I have not a clue why. But there's some very angry both-party noise in Congress this week -- it's probably just noise, and will pass -- threatening to shut off money and cooperation to Pakistan.