Five days after the raid the Pentagon press corps was provided with a series of videotapes that were said by US officials to have been taken from a large collection the Seals had removed from the compound, along with as many as 15 computers. Snippets from one of the videos showed a solitary bin Laden looking wan and wrapped in a blanket, watching what appeared to be a video of himself on television. The information was so vital, he added, that the administration was setting up an inter-agency task force to process it: He was throwing operational ideas out there and he was also specifically directing other al-Qaida members.
These claims were fabrications: And then we were told that the community is gathering everything together and needs to translate it. But nothing has come of it. Every single thing they have created turns out not to be true. The ISI took responsibility for the wives and children of bin Laden, none of whom was made available to the US for questioning.
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Otherwise, why kill him? A cover story was created — that there was a network of couriers coming and going with memory sticks and instructions. All to show that bin Laden remained important. In July , the Washington Post published what purported to be a summary of some of these materials.
In May , the Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point, a private research group, released translations it had made under a federal government contract of pages of bin Laden documents. Reporters found none of the drama that had been touted in the days after the raid. The retired official disputed the authenticity of the West Point materials: No intelligence community analysis. When was the last time the CIA: No agency professional would support this fairy tale.
In June , it was reported in the New York Times , the Washington Post and all over the Pakistani press that Amir Aziz had been held for questioning in Pakistan; he was, it was said, a CIA informant who had been spying on the comings and goings at the bin Laden compound. Aziz was released, but the retired official said that US intelligence was unable to learn who leaked the highly classified information about his involvement with the mission.
A sacrificial lamb was needed, and the one chosen was Shakil Afridi, a year-old Pakistani doctor and sometime CIA asset, who had been arrested by the Pakistanis in late May and accused of assisting the agency. Posters advertising the programme were displayed throughout the area. Afridi was later accused of treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison because of his ties to an extremist. News of the CIA-sponsored programme created widespread anger in Pakistan, and led to the cancellation of other international vaccination programmes that were now seen as cover for American spying.
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The retired official said that Afridi had been recruited long before the bin Laden mission as part of a separate intelligence effort to get information about suspected terrorists in Abbottabad and the surrounding area. The statement created a problem. Bin Laden had then been buried at sea, just hours after his death.
The questions were short, to the point, and rarely answered. A navy photographer recorded the burial in full sunlight, Monday morning, May 2. One frame shows the body wrapped in a weighted shroud. The next shows it lying diagonally on a chute, feet overboard. In the next frame the body is hitting the water. In the next it is visible just below the surface, ripples spreading outward. In the last frame there are only circular ripples on the surface. The mortal remains of Osama bin Laden were gone for good. One of them sought access to the photographs.
The Pentagon responded that a search of all available records had found no evidence that any photographs had been taken of the burial. Requests on other issues related to the raid were equally unproductive. The reason for the lack of response became clear after the Pentagon held an inquiry into allegations that the Obama administration had provided access to classified materials to the makers of the film Zero Dark Thirty.
Logs are sacrosanct in the navy, and separate ones are kept for air operations, the deck, the engineering department, the medical office, and for command information and control. They show the sequence of events day by day aboard the ship; if there has been a burial at sea aboard the Carl Vinson , it would have been recorded. The carrier concluded its six-month deployment in June When the ship docked at its home base in Coronado, California, Rear Admiral Samuel Perez, commander of the Carl Vinson carrier strike group, told reporters that the crew had been ordered not to talk about the burial.
Captain Bruce Lindsey, skipper of the Carl Vinson , told reporters he was unable to discuss it. Cameron Short, one of the crew of the Carl Vinson , told the Commercial-News of Danville, Illinois, that the crew had not been told anything about the burial. The Pentagon did release a series of emails to the Associated Press. But there was no indication of who washed and wrapped the body, or of which Arabic speaker conducted the service.
The cover story was that it had been flown to the Carl Vinson.
United States of America, The Death of Osama bin Laden
Bin Laden became a working asset. The consultant laughed and said: The retired official said there had been another complication: The remains, including his head, which had only a few bullet holes in it, were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains — or so the Seals claimed. At the time, the retired official said, the Seals did not think their mission would be made public by Obama within a few hours: The world knew US forces had killed bin Laden in Abbottabad.
Honourable burial following sharia law. There never was a plan, initially, to take the body to sea, and no burial of bin Laden at sea took place. The report led to international headlines about brutality and waterboarding, along with gruesome details about rectal feeding tubes, ice baths and threats to rape or murder family members of detainees who were believed to be withholding information.
Death of Osama bin Laden Fast Facts - CNN
Despite the bad publicity, the report was a victory for the CIA. Whether the actions described constitute war crimes was not discussed, and the report did not suggest that any of the CIA interrogators or their superiors should be investigated for criminal activity. The agency faced no meaningful consequences as a result of the report. The retired official told me that the CIA leadership had become experts in derailing serious threats from Congress: Give them something that sounds terrible.
The goal also was to stall it as long as possible, which they did. The lies included some vital details about the uncovering of an al-Qaida operative called Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, who was said to be the key al-Qaida courier, and the subsequent tracking of him to Abbottabad in early Obama today is not facing re-election as he was in the spring of His principled stand on behalf of the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran says much, as does his decision to operate without the support of the conservative Republicans in Congress.
High-level lying nevertheless remains the modus operandi of US policy, along with secret prisons, drone attacks, Special Forces night raids, bypassing the chain of command, and cutting out those who might say no. The allegations in Seymour M. It turns out he preferred Bob Woodward to Seymour Hersh.
Log In Register for Online Access. In his memoir, Duty , Gates did not mask his anger: Contact us for rights and issues inquiries. February - The intelligence on the Abbottabad compound is considered strong enough to begin planning action. March 14, - President Obama chairs the first of five National Security Council meetings to discuss an operation to raid bin Laden's compound and killing or capturing bin Laden. April 29, - At 8: May 2, - In the early morning hours approximately mid-afternoon on May 1 in the United States , a group of 25 Navy Seals raid the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Facial recognition is used also.
May 3, - Attorney General Eric Holder declares the raid "lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way. He clarifies that the woman killed was on the first floor, not with bin Laden, and was killed in the crossfire. Carney also says that bin Laden was not armed but did put up resistance. Carney also says that a woman in the room with bin Laden, believed to be his wife, was shot in the leg when she rushed at US forces.
Neither place is a good place to be. May 3, - Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mojahed releases a statement, "Obama has not got any strong evidence that can prove his claim over killing of the Sheikh Osama bin Laden And secondly, the closest sources for Sheikh Osama bin Laden have not confirmed" the death. May 4, - A Pakistani intelligence source tells CNN that there were five fatalities during the raid, all men: Osama bin Laden, bin Laden's son and three other men. This conflicts with the White House statement that a woman died during the raid. May 6, - Al Qaeda confirms bin Laden's death, in a statement on jihadist forums.
May 12, - US officials offer further proof of their belief that bin Laden grew complacent living in Pakistan and believed he would not be caught. They point out that they have found no evidence that he had an escape plan and that his security in the compound consisted of only three other men. Instead, what killed bin Laden was electronic surveillance, and an operational mistake by one of his closest associates. After a slow drip of intelligence year after year, and then a final flurry of data collection and analysis brought a team of SEALs to bin Laden's Abbottabad compound on a moonless night.
In each case, someone received millions of dollars in reward money for their efforts. The long and sometimes circular path that led to bin Laden was paved by satellites, drones, phone surveillance and luck. The CIA declined to comment on specific intelligence methods, but U.
Bin Laden's survival for nearly ten years was the result of the limits of American power and intelligence--the ability to recruit sources inside al Qaeda or support networks in Pakistan, and his death was the result in the overwhelming superiority of American electronic, signals, and technological capabilities. By the summer of , the trail for bin Laden had gone cold. The CIA simply had no tangible evidence of any place he'd been since he'd slipped away from U. Marty Martin, a former top CIA official who led the hunt for bin Laden from to , said that for years his colleagues were baffled as to where the fugitive had hidden.
He didn't look healthy. We knew he was moving.
Death of Osama bin Laden
We simply didn't know. Then, he gained weight and looked healthy. I told my analysts, 'He's gone urban, moved somewhere stable and safe. During all the years the trail went cold, the CIA had been unable to develop a human source inside al Qaeda or inside their support network. Several former intelligence officials involved in the hunt for bin Laden said developing a spy inside bin Laden's inner circle was never very likely because of the level of commitment his followers possessed.
The man who turned in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was an Afghan informer who provided low-level support to the al Qaeda chief of operations, not a fellow operative. Beyond that, the CIA tried to monitor those who facilitated communications and operations for al Qaeda, while learning as much as they could from detainees. But in , the CIA caught a break. The Pakistani intelligence service, known as the ISI, delivered a gift: After the phone call that the Pakistanis tapped, however, al Kuwaiti's number went dark.
But the courier had exposed himself, and the CIA suspected that if they could find where al Kuwaiti lived, they might be about to find bin Laden. The call had located al Kuwaiti in northwest Pakistan and gave the CIA a starting point for a renewed hunt. A year later, in the summer of , despite fastidious operational security by al Kuwaiti -- he normally drove 90 minutes from the compound before inserting the battery in his cellphone, preventing signals intelligence pinpointing his starting point — he made a twofold mistake.