Foreign Policy

Official bin Laden Report Details Life and Death, Criticizes Pakistani Government

| by Asia Smith
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According to an official Pakistani government report leaked by Al Jazeera on Monday, Osama bin Laden lived in Pakistan for nine years before the late night raid on May 1, 2011, in which bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Forces at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The report condemns the Pakistani government and its various branches for the “dereliction of duty” that led to the incident, which it calls a “national disaster.”

The report, called the Abbottabad Commission, is 336 pages long and discusses the process and results of the formal inquiry ordered after the 2011 raid. It contains a detailed examination of the night of the raid as well as extensive interviews with Osama bin Laden’s family and household.

Included in the report is an account by bin Laden’s daughter, identified in the report as Surnayya, of the moments immediately following bin Laden’s death. As reported by Al Jazeera, the inquiry appears to be aimed at “regime continuance, when the regime is desperate to distance itself from any responsibility” for the bin Laden affair, after which the Pakistani government received both local and international criticism. The report states that the Pakistani intelligence community had not actively pursued Osama bin Laden since 2005, when it effectively “closed the books” on the widely sought leader of al Qaeda.

The report suggested that Osama bin Laden and his family were able to reside and travel within Pakistan because of a small network of individuals that “met their every need.” Bin Laden was apparently very cautious of security issues, never appearing in public and keeping his support staff small. Al Jazeera quotes the report as stating, “culpable negligence and incompetence at almost all levels of government can more or less be conclusively established.”

The report scathingly concludes, “the whole episode of the U.S. assassination mission of May 2, 2011 and the Pakistan government's response before, during and after appears in large part to be a story of complacency, ignorance, negligence, incompetence, irresponsibility and possibly worse at various levels inside and outside the government.”

Source: USA Today