Pakistan had no idea that bin Laden was in Abottabad: Report


This frame grab from the Saudi-owned television network MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center) shows alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden gesturing an undated videotape broadcast by the Dubai-based MBC April 17, 2002.

KARACHI, Pakistan — An independent Pakistani inquiry has found that the country's government cannot be blamed for Osama bin Laden's presence in the country because they had no idea he was even there, the Telegraph reported Monday.

The commission, which was made up of five members, submitted its report to the Pakistani government last week, according to the Telegraph. However, far from answering questions about how the country was able to host the FBI's most wanted just 30 miles from the country's capital, the investigation simply clears the government and military of involvement.

There was widespread hope that the inquiry would delve deeper into the controversy surrounding bin Laden's death in Pakistan.

Official reports by the CIA as well as the Pakistani government claimed that Pakistan had no involvement with the Navy SEAL raid that killed bin Laden in Abottabad on May 1st 2011.

However, residents in Abottabad, who were interviewed by GlobalPost in the days following bin Laden's death, said that in the hours before the raid, Pakistani security officials had informed them to stay indoors and turn off their lights.

More from GlobalPost: Pakistan supports terrorists? That's exactly what its government wants you to think. 

A new book by journalist Richard Miniter, which hit shelves on Aug. 22, corroborated with GlobalPost's findings. In the book, titled "Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors who Decide for Him," Miniter claims that Pakistan's powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, coordinated with the CIA in helping track down bin Laden.

Intelligence officials and security analysts who spoke to GlobalPost earlier this year said that they believed that the Pakistani government wanted to downplay its involvement in the bin Laden raid to avoid backlash from the public, which has actively protested against the CIA presence in the country. 

A US government official who spoke with the Telgraph confirmed that the commission was essentially a sham. 

“At the end of the day it really doesn't tell us much more than we already knew,” said the official, speaking to the Telegraph on condition of anonymity. “It's a disappointment for those who thought this episode might represent a turning point for Pakistan's relationship with extremist groups.”

Christine Fair, an assistant professor at Georgtown University, agreed, telling the Telegraph that if Pakistan had taken this breach of sovereignty seriously, the investigation would have been far more vigorous.

“This was a joke,” she said.