Osama bin Laden’s Killing – Pakistan’s Achilles’ Heel?
The killing of Osama bin Laden has been made the Pakistani Achilles’ heel despite of the fact that it was the effective intelligence sharing of ISI with CIA which led to the whereabouts of bin Laden.
I’m sharing few important facts which we must keep in mind:
- ISI had been sharing information with CIA about the target compound of OBL since 2009. ISI shared the data of surveillance of mobile numbers of two Kuwaiti brothers who were couriers between the Al Qaeda leadership. The brothers identified were Abu Ahmed Al-Kuwaiti and Tariq.
- In Feb 2011, when ISI captured Umer Patek alias Jaffer Alawi aka Hisyamein Alazein (of Kuwaiti origin), they requested satellite surveillance by the CIA of the house on “Pathan House” in Bilal town as they were tracking the movement of Abu Ahmed but CIA didn’t share as they had zeroed in on the house where bin Laden was staying Abu Ahmed Al-Kuwaiti and Tariq. This data led to the whereabouts of Osama.
If ISI was protecting bin Laden why would they share all this data with CIA?
- All phone conversations were captured by the United States and they came to the conclusion that Pak did not know about OBL. Even if they had an iota of doubt they would’ve blamed Pakistan like they always did on Pak’s alleged support for Haqqani Network despite of the fact that only 10% of the attacks in Afghanistan were carried out by Haqqanis and 90% from fighters within Afghanistan. This figure was endorsed by General Stanley McChrystal, former ISAF commander, in a meeting with General Kayani and President Karzai.
- When General Kayani was informed that a helicopter had crashed in Abbotabad, he gave an executive order to air chief ACM Rao Suleiman Qamar within 5 minutes to scramble F-16s and anything that is coming in or out, shoot them down but by that time all US aircrafts had left.
- When President Obama called President Zardari, he thanked the Pakistanis for providing the initial clues. Those clues were the transcripts of wiretaps of conversations in Arabic between someone in Nowshera and later Peshawar, Waziristan and finally the bin Laden compound.
- US helis entered Pakistani airspace making use of blind spots in the radar coverage due to hilly terrain. Its undetected flight was facilitated by the mountainous terrain, efficacious use of latest technology and ‘nap of earth’ flying techniques.
- Though it was an intelligence failure on Pakistan’s side but it happens everywhere. How many times has CIA failed? Wasn’t 9/11 a security lapse? Why there have been more than 85 attacks in the US since 9/11?
- ISI’s own achievements against AQ are more than any other agency in the world. ISI dismantled AQ by arresting its leaders including 750 operatives. Abu Zubaida, Abu Nasim, Ramzi, Khalid Shiekh, Abu Musab, Yasir Al-Jaziri are few of the names!
Why would they protect OBL?
- Bette Dam has revealed in her book “The Secret Life of Mullah Omar” that Omar was hiding 3 miles from a major US Forward Operating Base in Zabul. She spent 5 years in research.
Does that mean that the US was supporting Omar? Obviously not, same goes for Pak in OBL’s case.
- When the US launched a naval expeditionary force designated Task Force 58 in Afghanistan after 9/11, its commander Brigadier General James Mattis whose call sign for the Afghan invasion was “Chaos” was informed that bin Laden had retreated into Tora Bora in 2002 Mattis planned to encircle bin Laden in Tora Bora and then tightened the nose to capture him just like the approach in Geronimo campaign in 1886 but surprisingly he was told by the higher command to drop the plan.
- It took CIA another ten years to eliminate bin Laden along with billions of dollars of expenditure on a never ending war with thousands of Pakistani, Afghan and American casualties. Why was Mattis’s plan not accepted? Isn’t this a strategic/intelligence failure?