ADAM EDELMAN -- Daily News
U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden with the full cooperation of Pakistani intelligence agencies, who had kept the 9/11 mastermind prisoner inside his infamous Abbottabad compound for years before the fatal raid, a newbombshell report claims.
The report, a lengthy article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, widely contradicts multiple elements of the original account of the May 2011 raid by U.S. forces provided by the Obama administration and other federal government figures.
“The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account,” Hersh wrote in the 10,000-word expose published online Sunday on the London Review of Books website.
“The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders — General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI — were never informed of the US mission. This remains the White House position despite an array of reports that have raised questions,” Hersh wrote, adding that he had unearthed the following new pieces of information:
“(B)in Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006 … Kayani and Pasha knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms ... that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US, and that, while Obama did order the raid and the Seal team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false.”
U.S. officials, including President Obama, have repeatedly maintained that the Navy SEALS operation to take out bin Laden in 2011 was conducted without the help of Pakistan’s special forces and without notifying the Pakistani government beforehand.
Hersh said his primary source for most of the extraordinary revelations was a “a retired senior intelligence official who was knowledgeable about the initial intelligence about bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad.”