Pakistan Denies Harboring Bin Laden in Safe House; Neighbors Say They Were Unaware of OBL’s Posh Hideout
Supporters of hardline pro-Taliban party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Nazaryati (JUI-N) shout anti-US slogans during a protest in Quetta on May 2. The US has warned it will probe how Osama bin Laden managed to live in undetected luxury in Pakistan, as gripping details emerged about the US commando raid that killed the Al-Qaeda kingpin. (AFP/Banaras Khan)
Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabod, Pakistan. It is the home of the Pakistani military academy. OBL’s compound was across the street from a police station and the government military college.
Today Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari insisted that his country’s security forces were not harboring Osama Bin Laden in a safe house.
The AP reported:
Pakistan’s leader denied suggestions that his country’s security forces sheltered Osama bin Laden as Britain demanded Tuesday that Islamabad answer for how the al-Qaida chief lived undetected for six years in a large house in a garrison town close to the capital.
But in a nod to the complexities of dealing with a nuclear-armed, unstable country that is crucial to success in the war in neighboring Afghanistan, British Prime Minister David Cameron said having “a massive row” with Islamabad over the issue would not be in Britain’s interest.
A day after U.S. commandos killed bin Laden, reporters were allowed within the 15-foot, barbed-wire-topped walls of the compound for the first time. But the doors of the house were sealed shut and police were in no mood to open them.
Local residents showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that Washington said malfunctioned and was disabled by the American strike team as they retreated. A small servant’s room outside the perimeter showed signs of violent entry and had been briskly searched, clothes and bedding tossed to the ground. Its wall clock was on the floor, the time stuck at 2:20, when the U.S. team would have been on the ground in the early hours of Monday.
Related… Osama’s neighbors in Abbottabad said they were unaware of OBL’s posh hideout.
The Daily Times reported:
Frightened neighbours say they had no idea that the man living in a three-storey villa hidden behind barbed wire in a leafy, well-to-do Pakistani town was the world’s most wanted extremist.
To kill Osama Bin Laden, US forces raided not a remote cave but a secure compound on the fringes of Abbottabad, a summer escape considered one of the safest cities in the northwest and home to the Pakistan Military Academy.
“I did not have the slightest idea what was going on,” said local resident Waseem. “It is a very quiet neighbourhood, the most peaceful area.” Ejaz Mahmood, a tailor, said he heard a blast in the early hours of Monday and “saw a fireball coming down from the air”.
Residents were stunned when they switched on their television sets after daybreak to hear US President Barack Obama announce that Bin Laden had been killed in their hometown. “We were depressed,” said Mahmood. “We are worried about the safety of our city. It has become the focus of world news.”