Pakistan failure to detect bin Laden condemned by report
Inquiry cites ‘collective incompetence and negligence’ in al-Qaeda’s chief’s evasion
Pakistan’s official report into the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011 is withering in its criticism of the country’s dysfunctional institutions. Photograph: HO/AFP/Getty Images
Pakistan failed to detect Osama bin Laden during the six years he hid in Abbottabad because of the “collective incompetence and negligence” of the country’s intelligence and security forces, the country’s official report into the killing of the al-Qaeda chief in 2011 has concluded.
The much-anticipated report, a copy of which has been obtained by al-Jazeera, is withering in its criticism of Pakistan’s dysfunctional institutions, which were unable to find the world’s most wanted man during his long stay in a major Pakistani city.
“It is a glaring testimony to the collective incompetence and negligence, at the very least, of the security and intelligence community in the Abbottabad area.”
Nor does it rule out the possibility of involvement by rogue Pakistani intelligence officers who have been accused of deliberately shielding bin Laden by some commentators.
“Given the length of stay and the changes of residence of [bin Laden] and his family in Pakistan . . . the possibility of some such direct or indirect and ‘plausibly deniable’ support cannot be ruled out, at least, at some level outside formal structures of the intelligence establishment.”
The report warns the influence of radical Islamists inside the armed forces had been “underestimated by senior military officials whom the commission met”.
The inquiry by the Abbottabad commission heard testimony from some of the country’s most powerful people, including former spy chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha, who shares much of the authors’ despair about Pakistan, warning it is a “failing state”.
The publication of the judge-led inquiry has long been delayed amid fears it might be suppressed for decades.
In addition to its scorching criticism of Pakistani institutions, it also reflects official fury at the behaviour of the US. The report concludes that in sending special forces to raid a house inside Pakistani territory the US “acted like a criminal thug”.
It concurs the incident was a “national tragedy” because of the “illegal manner in which [bin Laden] was killed along with three Pakistani citizens”.
It says theoperation was “the American act of war against Pakistan”. – (Guardian service)