Four years a group of US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
However, the story still continues: the American broadcaster NBC News was told that the year before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a “walk in” asset from Pakistani intelligence told the CIA where Osama bin Laden was hiding – and the Pakistani government knew where bin Laden was hiding all along.
Besides, the intelligent sources say that elements of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence agency) were aware of bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The U.S. government has always characterized the raid by Seal Team Six that killed bin Laden as an independent U.S. operation, and has maintained that the CIA found him by tracking couriers to his walled complex in Abbottabad.
The official story about how Osama bin Laden was found was composed in a way that protected the identity and existence of the asset, who also knew who inside the Pakistani government was aware of the Pakistani intelligence agency’s operation to hide bin Laden, according to a special operations officer with prior knowledge of the bin Laden mission. The official story is focused on a long hunt for bin Laden’s presumed courier, Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.
An investigative reporter Seymour Hersh shared his opinion on the story in a London Review of Books article.
According to the article, the “walk in,” a Pakistani intelligence official, contacted U.S. authorities in 2010, that elements of ISI knew of bin Laden’s location, and that the U.S. told the Pakistanis about the bin Laden raid before it launched. However, the U.S. has claimed that it did not tell the Pakistani government about the raid before it launched.
On Monday the White House and CIA officials, current and former, commented on the report.
“It’s all wrong. I started reading the article last night. I got a third of the way through and I stopped because every sentence I was reading was wrong, “ told former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell.
“The source that Hersh talked to has no idea what he’s talking about,” Morell added, arguing that Hersh’s informant ‘obviously was not close to what actually happened.’ He continued: “The Pakistanis did not know.”
According to the Washington Post, an anonymous CIA official told that Hersh’s report was ‘utter nonsense.’
The U.S. government claims that the 2011 raid on the Abbottabad compound was conducted unilaterally, and that Islamabad was informed only after SEAL Team Six’s raid.
“The notion that the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden was anything but a unilateral U.S. mission is patently false,” National Security spokesman Ned Price reportedly said. “As we said at the time, knowledge of this operation was confined to a very small circle of senior U.S. officials.”