Of Course Pakistan Was Hiding Bin Laden!
by RYAN MAURO
March 5, 2012
In case you needed any further proof, Wikileaks has released e-mails from the Stratfor intelligence company with more evidence that Pakistan purposely hid Osama Bin Laden. The U.S., one message contends, even knows which Pakistani officials oversaw his safe haven.
“Mid to senior level ISI [Pakistani intelligence] and Pak Mil [Pakistani military] with one retired Pak Mil General that had knowledge of the OBL arrangements and safe house,” an e-mail written by Stratfor’s vice president of intelligence reads.
He also said that he “got a very clear sense that we (US intelligence) know names and ranks.” Stratfor suspects that around a dozen ISI officials knew where Bin Laden was.
The release of the documents comes shortly after David Ignatius revealed that Bin Laden’s compound, which was built in 2005, was designed by an architect frequently used by the ISI. He was told only that it was for a “highly placed VIP.”
Former ISI director General Ziauddin Butt (1997-1999) claims that Pervez Musharraf, who was president of Pakistan at the time of the compound’s construction, knew Bin Laden was there. He says that its construction was ordered by Brigadier Ijaz Shah, who led the Intelligence Bureau. Shah is now suing Ziauddin.
Butt is an adversary of the former Pakistani president but Musharraf’s own book has a few intriguing sentences. He writes that three safehouses of suspected terrorists were discovered in Abbottabad in 2004, the city where Bin Laden’s compound was built only a year later. There were two raids, one targeting a “very important” figure that was meeting “someone important in Al-Qaeda living in a house there.”
The visitor was killed but the security personnel were tricked by a decoy, Musharraf writes. So, if Musharraf knew that top Al-Qaeda leaders were in Abbottabad, are we really to believe that his authorities didn’t suspect that something was up when a mysterious, three-story compound was built there in 2005? Did Musharraf purposely insert that story to provide himself cover in case Bin Laden was indeed located by the U.S.?
And, for that matter, why didn’t the CIA identify it as a likely hiding place? A document from Guantanamo Bay dated September 18, 2008 states that Abu Farraj al-Libi, who was captured in 2005 when he was Al-Qaeda’s third-in-command, said that he was temporarily in Abbottaabad in 2003 What was he doing there? He was in charge of finding safehouses for Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The features of Bin Laden’s compound made it apparent that it was housing a wanted man. It was incredibly expensive and large, sticking out like a sore thumb from its surroundings. It had 18-foot security walls with barbed wire and had no Internet or telephone connections. There was a 7 foot privacy wall so that the protected resident, who was obviously quite tall, could get a breath of fresh air. The residents burned their trash. How did the U.S. miss this after being tipped off by al-Libi?
Even the locals knew that there was a top outlaw there and suspected it was a terrorist. There was a rumor that the person living at the compound, which was often referred to as “Waziristan Mansion,” was a nephew of a top Taliban leader. Cars arrived from the terrorist-friendly tribal areas and women who lived there wore black burqas, an oddity in that area. When children’s soccer balls landed in the expansive yard, they were given a few bucks to buy a new one because they weren’t allowed to retrieve the one they lost.
If the locals, based on observation and reason alone, figured that a shady person with likely terrorist connections lived at the compound, how can we believe that the Pakistani ISI had no idea?
The evidence doesn’t end there. Only one mile away from the compound is the premier Pakistani military academy. Bin Laden’s next door neighbor living 80 yards away was a senior officer named Major Amir Aziz.
Ignatius reports that Bin Laden communicated with Taliban leader Mullah Omar and the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group from his home. His courier worked with another group called Harakut-ul-Mujahidin. All three have extremely close ties to the ISI and the Pakistani government as a whole.
It is true that Al-Qaeda, under Bin Laden’s direction, carried out many attacks on Pakistani soil. It is true that other Al-Qaeda leaders were apprehended by the Pakistani authorities. It seems very counter-productive for the Pakistani government to harbor someone who has called for its overthrow and supervised attacks against it—but the evidence is clear and undeniable. That’s what happened.
The worst sin a country could commit against the U.S. is to attack it. The second-worst sin is to protect and help those who attacked the U.S. and are trying to attack it again. Pakistan is guilty of that sin and Iran, according to a ruling in December, is guilty of the first.
“Letting bygones be bygones” is not wise U.S. foreign policy, especially when your enemies don’t have the same attitude.
Ryan Mauro is Family Security Matters’national security analyst. He is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan Mauro is Family Security Matters' national security analyst. He is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at email@example.com.