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Tue Feb 28, 2012, 08:17 AM

Wikileaks: Pakistan army officials 'knew of Bin Laden house'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17188120
28 February 2012 Last updated at 05:24 ET

Wikileaks: Pakistan army officials 'knew of Bin Laden house'
Osama Bin Laden Osama Bin Laden lived in a heavily fortified compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad

Mid-ranking Pakistani army officials may have known that Osama Bin Laden had a safe house in Pakistan, leaked material appears to indicate. The claim was made in e-mails allegedly from US-based security think tank Stratfor, which were published by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks.

( . . .)

An email from a senior Stratfor employee to colleagues is quoted as saying: "Mid to senior level ISI and Pak Mil with one retired Pak Mil General that had knowledge of the OBL arrangements and safe house." The message goes on to say that the names and specific ranks of these generals were unknown to him, but adds that he believes US intelligence had that information.

(. . .)

"Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimised twice by submitting to questioning about them," Stratfor said in a statement on the publication of the emails by Wikileaks.


The next questions are: how long has US intelligence had that information, and why has the Pakistani military been keeping UBL under house arrest, and who else knew about this? How does Stratfor know this level of detail? Want to bet the corporate media doesn't even ask?

29 replies, 4386 views

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Wikileaks: Pakistan army officials 'knew of Bin Laden house' (Original post)
leveymg Feb 2012 OP
xchrom Feb 2012 #1
Robb Feb 2012 #2
leveymg Feb 2012 #8
philly_bob Feb 2012 #3
FarPoint Feb 2012 #5
cosmicone Feb 2012 #14
JDPriestly Feb 2012 #21
Ganja Ninja Feb 2012 #4
Orangepeel Feb 2012 #6
msanthrope Feb 2012 #21
christx30 Feb 2012 #23
msanthrope Feb 2012 #24
Lurks Often Feb 2012 #7
leveymg Feb 2012 #9
Lurks Often Feb 2012 #11
leveymg Feb 2012 #16
cosmicone Feb 2012 #15
leveymg Feb 2012 #17
sofa king Feb 2012 #20
leveymg Feb 2012 #25
sofa king Feb 2012 #29
existentialist Feb 2012 #10
leveymg Feb 2012 #13
creeksneakers2 Feb 2012 #12
MisterP Feb 2012 #18
LiberalLovinLug Feb 2012 #19
leveymg Feb 2012 #26
lazloman Feb 2012 #27
leveymg Feb 2012 #28

Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 08:21 AM

1. Du rec. Nt

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 08:32 AM

2. Says the "intelligence expert" two weeks after OBL was killed.

I believe DUers were coming to the same conclusion -- with identical specificity (e.g., none) -- within an hour of the announcement of OBL's death.

Edited to add: My mistake, it took almost two hours before a DUer made the same guess.

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Response to Robb (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:05 AM

8. One sentence in the emails stands out re: unusual specificity

"Mid to senior level ISI and Pak Mil with one retired Pak Mil General that had knowledge of the OBL arrangements and safe house."


Someone in specific is being referred to here, and if this is accurate, the information appears to have been gathered from US intel sources who were aware of these details, likely including the identity of the "one retired Pak Mil General." Anyone want to guess who that might be?

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 08:40 AM

3. Perhaps Bush's greatest stupidity: Forming a military alliance with an enemy n/t

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Response to philly_bob (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:01 AM

5. This war and partnership with Pakistan served Bush's agenda....

War Presidents always get re-elected.

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Response to philly_bob (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:44 PM

14. +1000000 n/t

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Response to philly_bob (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 03:34 PM

21. Actually, according to the tapes of Nixon that were recently released,

the special relationship with Pakistan was established by the Nixon administration at a time when we viewed the India/USSR alliance as a great threat.

Paranoia gets people in trouble.

Paranoia at the top level of the government gets countries into big trouble.

That Bin Laden was either dead or in Pakistan, possibly Iran, was a no brainer. No other country would have hosted him. He couldn't escape to any other country.

His precise location had to have been known to Pakistani intelligence. You don't need to be a spy to figure this out.

But the information as to who in Pakistani intelligence knew where Bin Laden was is a real secret seems to me. Somebody talked too much. That is the kind of secret that our government should keep, and the person who revealed it should face problems in my opinion. I hate to be vindictive, but even though it was easy to guess that Bin Laden was in Pakistan, information about who knew precisely where he was should not be divulged seems to me.

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 08:58 AM

4. What a surprise.

Liberals were right again.

Can we now move on to the anthrax killers? I think we all know the culprits behind that attack.

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 09:11 AM

6. Does the think tank also speculate that a bear shits in the woods?

It seems impossible that there weren't scores of people in Pakistan who knew, including the military. It seems probable that people in US intelligence knew (or at least strongly, strongly suspected) but didn't want to risk the mission, which was dangerous physically and politically.

But it doesn't seem like news that somebody at a "security think tank" told somebody they think this.

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Response to Orangepeel (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 03:34 PM

21. I think that was covered during the "Water is Wet" conference of 2003. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 03:47 PM

23. Don't forget the

infamous "Sky is Blue" symposium 6 months later.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 04:00 PM

24. Yeah, The Rose-Colored Glasses people showed up, and it was a GD bloodbath. nt

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:02 AM

7. I'm reading the article slightly different then you are

"An email from a senior Stratfor employee to colleagues is quoted as saying: "Mid to senior level ISI and Pak Mil with one retired Pak Mil General that had knowledge of the OBL arrangements and safe house." The message goes on to say that the names and specific ranks of these generals were unknown to him, but adds that he believes US intelligence had that information."

I read it as Mid to senior level ISI people and Pakistani Military people knew Bin Laden was there and that the US intelligence knows the names of the people who knew Bin Laden was there, but not that Bin Laden was CONFIRMED there until shortly before the attack.

It would be irresponsible to order an attack in a populated area of an "ally" unless you had intelligence indicating either a very high probability of the target being there or confirmation.

Given the apparent lack of electronic activity by Bin Laden, his presence could probably only be confirmed through human intelligence and finding people in Pakistan willing to risk their lives AND be in a position to actually gather good intelligence is pretty low.

Pakistan is a mess, elements of the ISI and Army are religious fundamentalists who hate the United States regardless of what we may do and the civilian government and other elements of the Army are recognize that having the US as an ally is a good thing. Those that are pro US aren't strong enough to force out the religious fundamentalists without risking either a civil war, being assassinated or having the Army take over.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:12 AM

9. That's an entirely reasonable conclusion.

But, it still opens many questions about how long US intel has been aware that ranking Pak ISI and military have been keeping UBL under house arrest, and what -- if anything -- has been done about that or is anticipated. These are important (if not publicly answerable) issues for the USG to come up with a plan of action, or as you suggest, to just leave it alone for fear of worse repercussions should we openly press this with Pak.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:33 AM

11. My best guess is that we started getting intelligence that

Bin Laden was there 6-12 months before the raid and the time in between was getting a sufficiently high level of confidence and confirmation of the intelligence before the decision was made to launch the raid.

As for what we are going to do about those in the ISI, Army or even the Government that knew, is probably nothing. We don't want the religious fundamentalists taking over Pakistan and having full access to nuclear weapons. Although the nasty, suspicious part of me would suggest that they not take any trips into Afghanistan where something might "accidentally" happen to them.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:08 PM

16. According to this account, US intel had the identity of UBLs courier six years ago, that would

also coincide with the completion of the safe house. See, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/trail-that-led-from-guantanamo-to-a-1m-compound-in-pakistan-2278032.html

Bin Laden's heavily fortified last refuge was only 100 yards from Pakistan's version of Sandhurst, the Kakul Academy, in a city bristling with security facilities. US officials had little doubt that senior elements within the country's military and intelligence service had been shielding the al-Qa'ida leader, and had taken every precaution possible to ensure they did not learn how close the Americans were to getting their quarry.

The trail that led to the deaths at Abbottabad started six years ago when two detainees at Guantanamo Bay had provided the nickname for Bin Laden's most trusted courier, a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It took another 12 months to find the man's real name, and it was not until 2009 that it emerged he was based close to Islamabad.

The fact the courier was operating with seeming impunity near the Pakistani capital convinced US officials he had the protection of the ISI, the Pakistani secret police, and reinforced their decision not to share their information with the Pakistanis.

Ivestigations, mainly reliant on electronic tracking, eventually led them to a residence the courier shared with his brother at Abbottabad. The mansion, set on a hilltop, ringed by 12ft-high reinforced concrete walls topped with razor wire, had been built in 2005 at a cost of $1m, 10 times more than other properties in the area. It did not, however, have either telephone or internet connection – seen as a counter-surveillance measure.


The fact that nothing has evidently happened since to the third parties involved, including the man who purchased the property, tells me that everyone signed off of this a long time ago, and that the corporate media has no interest in chasing down this back story.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:47 PM

15. The retired General is most probably Musharraf

Indian intelligence agency RAW has been providing details of Pakistani involvement in Taliban and Al Q'aeda for years but all such info fell on deaf years. Duplicitous Pakistani leaders had GWB and the State Department conned to no end. They are still doing it and mostly getting away with it.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 01:14 PM

17. Yes, that's possible. It would have to be someone very high in the Pak chain-of-command.

It was Musharraf who had AQ Khan under "house arrest" from 2004-09.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8226124.stm and http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/07/world/asia/07khan.html

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Response to leveymg (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 03:27 PM

20. How high do you want to go?

As high as Mahmud Ahmed?

How about Mahmud's buddy, Porter Goss?

How about Porter's buddy, Dick Cheney?

How about Dick's buddy, Karl Rove?

How about Karl's buddy, Grover Norquist?

And how about Grover's buddy, Jack Abramoff?

Somehow, when one goes that high, one reaches the dungeon.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 05:55 PM

25. That would be the mother node, wouldn't it?

That must've been quite a breakfast (Ahmed-Goss), one of several such power breakfasts served that morning in DC.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 12:35 PM

29. Most of them on top floors in DC office buildings...

...Each with a good view of the Pentagon.

But I'm sure that was just another coincidence, too....

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:12 AM

10. House arrest?

I didn't read anything in the post to indicate other than that some of the Pakistani military knew where he was. I have read nothing, here or elsewhere, to indicate that he was confined to the house except by his own choice.

This story supports the United States assessment that Pakistan could have kept the operation secret if they had been informed of it. The U.S. intelligence assessment appears confirmed on that point.

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Response to existentialist (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 12:03 PM

13. There's a level of specificity there that raises the level of probability of Pak mil involvement

and US intel knowledge, IMHO.. You can read it differently, but need to account for that sentence.

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 11:59 AM

12. At best second hand information

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 02:15 PM

18. former CIA employee concealed by CIA-trained agency shot by CIA-directed forces, yet a CIA asset

said this former CIA employee had died long before

ain't they all grand!?

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2012, 02:39 PM

19. Bush & Obama have known all along?

I propose that when American troops were pulled back from Tora Bora, supposedly handing the responsibility over to some Afghan war lord to finish the job, was NOT yet another bone-headed decision from the Decider, but, just as OBL other relatives were shuffled out of the US after 9/11, OBL was shuffled out of Afghanistan by this war lord under the payment and orders of the US to be protected by Pakistan.

This way Bush could still have his boogeyman. And OBL came through with another scary video just in time before the second term elections. This not only helped Bush but helped to increase spending on the military as well.

OBL just simply ran out of his usefulness, and Obama was "given permission" to get credit for taking him out

I have no proof of this obviously, but it seems very plausible.

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 10:30 AM

26. Follow-up: "up to 12 officials in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency knew"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/9109457/Stratfor-Osama-bin-Laden-was-in-routine-contact-with-Pakistans-spy-agency.html

Osama bin Laden 'was in routine contact with Pakistan's spy agency'

The e-mail, from a Stratfor analyst, suggested that up to 12 officials in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency knew of the al-Qaeda leader's safe house.

The internal email did not name the Pakistani officials involved but said the US could use the information as a bargaining chip in post raid negotiations with Islamabad.


And, (if any of this is based in facts) we're supposed to believe that all this time NSA didn't pick up on any of this by monitoring their communications, that DIA Humint didn't put two and two together, and that CIA hasn't penetrated the upper echelons of the Pak military/ISI and that nobody in the Agency knew about this "routine contact" until just a few months before the mission was launched to kill UBL? If they didn't, they should all be fired.

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Response to leveymg (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 10:40 AM

27. Surprise, surprise

I think many have assumed for quite some time that the Pakistani military knew of Bin Laden's whereabouts. This kind of double dealing from an ally is very troubling.

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Response to lazloman (Reply #27)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 10:44 AM

28. If that many Pakistani Generals knew, so did we,

in all likelihood. See my comment above.

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