There Was CIA Ground Support for Osama Raid: Report
Islamabad | Jul 11, 2013
In a new revelation, it has now emerged that some CIA operatives might have
been on the ground around Osama bin Laden's house during the 38-minute raid
in which the world's most dreaded terrorist was killed in Abbottabad.
As per the Pakistan Army Board of Enquiry, which deposed before the
Abbottabad Commission, the US stealth helicopters were probably guided by
ground operators who were already in place around bin Laden's compound.
"In this regard there were reports of 'suspicious activities' indicating CIA
ground support for the planning and implementation of the raid," said the
Commission report, leaked by Al Jazeera channel.
"These included the cutting down of trees to clear the approach of the
helicopters, the hiring of a house in the vicinity of the OBL compound by
supposed USAID employees, and the movement of four to five Prado/Land
Cruisers from the US Embassy in Islamabad towards Peshawar/Abbottabad," the
"The US embassy personnel coming from Islamabad and seen headed towards
Abbottabad may have been CIA agents to assist the helicopters," the
Commission report added.
In a separate section, dealing with the question about the possibility of
CIA network on the ground supporting the raid, the report said, "There were
in all probability a fairly extensive network. One network would have been
for the location of OBL's hideout, and another would be to confirm whether
or not he was actually hiding there".
It added that there was "almost certainly also a subsequent and separate
network of CIA personnel, recruits and possibly unwitting Pakistani
accomplices to facilitate the killing itself".
The Commission report also said the vehicles that emerged from the US
Embassy in Islamabad on the evening before the raid and were seen heading in
the direction of Abbottabad with later reports of similar vehicles seen near
Osama's compound "lends further credibility to this supposition".
It noted that there were reports of the community being told a day before to
stay indoors and of school children not going to school.
"The cutting of trees...According to some was meant to facilitate the
approach of helicopters," the report said.
"Why were the trees cut and who cut them? Was there a safe house? Who kept
the public from entering the house when the helicopter crash landed etc?
"All this once again added up to a major intelligence failure to develop
adequate information regarding the CIA network of support, which certainly
existed, both before and during the incident," the report said.
Another puzzling incident was the fact that the power was cut before the
raid began and came on only during mid-way of the operation.
It added that the ISI failed to disclose specific details of extent and
nature of the CIA networks that "were in place for the location and killing
of OBL, the existence of these networks is not in doubt".
"The DG ISI frankly told the Commission that Pakistan had become 'too weak'
and dependent on the US to take necessary actions to defend itself against
US policies," it said.
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