Indeed. It defies imagination that a secretive group holed up in a meticulously controlled compound in close proximity to the Pakistani military never made them wonder who their neighbors were. Panetta’s observations echo what he said after the bin Laden raid in May: either the Pakistanis were incompetent, or complicit, though Panetta now seems to be leaning more toward the latter assessment.
“Pakistan knew where Bin Laden was all along, Leon Panetta admits as he reveals intelligence source for Osama raid,” by David Baker for the Daily Mail, January 28:
Pakistan officials must have known that terror chief Bin Laden was holed up in a remote compound in Abbottabad, claims Pentagon chief Leon Panettta.
The Defence Secretary has publicly hit out at the Pakistani government who he says ‘must have had some sense’ of Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts.
He said he remains convinced they must have known someone of interest was hiding out in the safe-house in an interview for CBS’s ’60 Minutes’, but added he has no proof.
The explosive interview, to be broadcast tomorrow, also saw Panetta acknowledge for the first time that Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi had provided key information about the former Al Qaeda frontman’s whereabouts.
Afridi ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify Bin Laden’s presence in the hideout and Panetta confessed he is ‘very concerned’ for the doctor who has been charged by Pakistan with treason.
Since the May 2 attack on Bin Laden’s compound, last year, Pakistani leaders have continued to deny they had any idea Bin Laden was staying in the city.
This is despite revelations that he had been hiding at the site for as long as five years.
For months the CIA knew of his presence there and spied on him from its own top-secret safe-house next door to the terror leader’s fortified compound, before Navy Seals were sent in. […]
Shortly after the raid security forces announced they had arrested 40 people in Abbottabad, suspected of having connections to Osama Bin Laden.
This gave rise to growing accusations the Pakistani government must have been aware he was using the base as a safe house, given the network of support he had there….