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The Bin Laden Raid: How Could the Pakistanis Have Been Cut In?

| October 21, 2015

How is it possible that the principals gathered in the White House Situation Room on the evening of May 1, 2011 — the president, the vice president etc. — could have known that the Pakistanis had been cut in beforehand on the attack on Usama bin Laden that was about to take place and pretended otherwise?

And how could the Pakistani principals, from Army Chief Gen. Kaylani on down, having been informed of the impending operation, be able say they weren't and to fake dismay and rage for weeks afterwards?

The first tranche of documents from the bin Laden raid, as released by the Director of National Intelligence and analyzed by the Center for Combating Terrorism at West Point, contains nothing to indicate an official relationship between bin Laden and the Pakistani authorities, in contrast to the raspy relationship with the Iranians, as bin Laden tried to secure the release of al-Qaeda followers, including members of his own family, who had fled Tora Bora in Afghanistan and had gone to Iran in November 2011 following the American-Afghan offensive that followed 9/11. To be sure, there is supposedly a second tranche of bin Laden documents forthcoming.

The recent New York Times Magazinearticle on the "mysteries" remaining about the bin Laden raid offers no clear conclusions. But it does usefully point out that there could be a difference between the Pakistanis being aware that bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, and not being informed of the impending attack against him.

Since there is no proof as yet, we should forget about press reports that the Pakistanis were cut in on the operation and trust what the president said, i.e. that the Pakistanis were not informed beforehand (which was obviously for reasons of security).

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Cogan, Dr. Charles G..“The Bin Laden Raid: How Could the Pakistanis Have Been Cut In?.” The Huffington Post, October 21, 2015.

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