Who Was Hiding Bin Laden?
Image Credit: Lawrence Coffee

Who Was Hiding Bin Laden?

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The Indian security establishment is convinced that Osama bin Laden was in the safekeeping of Pakistan Army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), and purposely left his huge Abbottabad mansion unwatched to avoid attracting attention, sources reportedly told the Sakaal Times.

Certainly the ISI keeps many people under 24/7 surveillance, so it seems inconceivable that in a garrison town an ‘outsider’ like bin Laden would be able to move into and and live in a large and distinctive house so close to a military academy without the knowledge of the ISI or some other Pakistani government agency.  

Constructed in 2005, the mansion was eight times bigger than other houses in the vicinity; its few occupants were never seen by neighbours; large vehicles moved in and out of a compound that otherwise showed little sign of any life; and although cameras were fitted at key vantage points, there were apparently only a handful of guards at the gates. In addition, the house had no telephone or Internet connection. It’s hard to see how such a building wouldn’t have attracted attention.

Desperate to defend itself, the Pakistani government has said that Abbatobad is a small town and added that there are a lot of houses with big compounds enclosed within high boundary walls. But this was no ordinary small town. It was within metres of a military academy where one of the periodic guests is the chief of the Pakistani Army, arguably the most powerful and important figure in ‘democratic’ Pakistan. With this in mind, it seems unlikely that the ISI wouldn’t have been interested in who was living in the bin Laden compound.

It’s also widely believed that bin Laden required frequent medical attention, including dialysis. Unless he had a portable hospital moving with him complete with medics and all the necessary equipment, he would have required regular care by a visiting medical team. How exactly this could have been done without some kind of official ‘assistance’ is difficult to see.

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