Monday, April 02, 2012

The Bin Laden Mystery...

Ex-Pakistani soldier searches for the truth of Osama bin Laden's death
By Shaukat Qadir, The National, March 16, 2012

A note from the author: I started my efforts to discover the truth behind Osama bin Laden's execution in July 2011. Eight months have now passed since I commenced that work and I am still not finished. My adventures could easily fill a book, but I do not have the patience to write one, although my research and writing is large enough to qualify to be called a monograph. My thanks to The National for printing these extracts.

On May 2, 2011, I was in Islamabad when, in the small hours of the morning, I got a call from a friend, enquiring as to whether I had heard of the military operation in Abbottabad. I hadn't. I called another friend there, who told me that something was definitely going on: some explosions had been heard in the night and there had been considerable movement of troops since the explosion, but the entire operation appeared very hush-hush.
A couple of hours later, the story broke. We, in Pakistan, followed events with a variety of emotions: shock, dismay, betrayal, shame, disbelief but most of all, a sense of having been let down by our armed forces, our intelligence services, by our allies and especially by the Americans, for the insult they offered us in the accusation that the US couldn't trust us with the information.
Like many others, I was tracking the news as it unwound and numerous contradictions soon became apparent. Nobody seemed to have the real story of what happened that night. Conspiracy theories emerged from a variety of sources. Nobody in either the US or Pakistan seemed to accept the official versions, although the Pakistani people and the media were still baying for the army's blood.
But what, I wondered, was the truth?
The story begins in August 2003, in a small village south of Gandamak in the province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden (OBL) had been ailing physically and mentally for more than a year. Ayman Al Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's number two, had been running the day-to-day affairs, including receiving donations and distributing monies, weapons, and overseeing the drug- and gun-running operations of the organisation.
I have, over the years, made extensive contacts and friends in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan. As far back as 2003, my friends there were divided in their opinions as to whether OBL was still alive. However, even then, those who held the view that he was were insistent that he was ill and had become largely irrelevant to Al Qaeda.
Various options of where OBL should be permanently housed were considered by the hierarchy, all of which were within Pakistan. It was decided that OBL should live a secluded family life, without armed guards to protect him (since they would draw attention to him), in a city not too far from the tribal areas, so as to remain in communication.
For complete article, click here

Details emerge about bin Laden's other residences - NY Daily News
Wife: Bin Laden Hid in Pakistan, Not Caves, for Decade - ABC News
A Flawed Narrative - Dawn

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