Israel helped US in tracking Osama Bin Ladin in Pakistan, reveals former CIA Chief
John Brennan says the Jewish state provided some of the information which led to the operation that brought embarrassment to Islamabad.
Pakistanis now have another thing to ponder. As it turns out, Israeli agents helped the United States, to a certain extent, in tracking down Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda who carried out the deadly 9/11 attacks.
Bin Laden was killed in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in a joint US military-CIA operation in 2011. His killing led to a deep introspection in Islamabad which denied knowing the whereabouts of America’s then most-wanted terrorist.
The fact that Bin Laden was living in a massive house located close to the Pakistan military’s main academy, fuelled anger both at home and abroad. The South Asian country itself had lost tens of thousands of people to terrorist attacks.
In a wide ranging interview link with the *Haaretz*, former CIA chief John Brennan said that while overall it was a US-led operation, the Jewish state provided some assistance in locating Bin Laden.
Years of effort went into preparing the night raid, “And the thousands of bits of pieces of intelligence do include some which were provided by the Israelis as a result of their intelligence operations,” he said.
A Pakistani commission created to look into the incident, which it called the “greatest humiliating” since the secession of its eastern wing in the 1971 war, underscored a major failure on the part of its vaunted intelligence apparatus.
US Navy Seals flew from neighbouring Afghanistan in helicopters in the early hours of May 2, 2011, and over the next 40 minutes killed Bin Laden and whisked his body away. By the time Pakistani jets scrambled, the US soldiers had already crossed the border.
It remains one of the most glaring episodes of intelligence failures, as Bin Laden remained in Pakistan for nearly a decade, moving between different cities. The compound where he was killed was built in an unusual way, its high walls, barbed wires and lack of visitors or absence of any cars made it suspect, yet no officials raised any red flags, the commission noted link.
Pakistan arrested and jailed Shakil Afridi, a doctor who helped the CIA collect blood samples from Bin Laden’s family members under the garb of an immunisation campaign.
But no one from the government or security establishment has ever been publicly punished for the intelligence failure.