May 3, 2011

Killing Osama: Would it Have Been Possible Without ISI Help?

Many people are writing and discussing the outcome of Osama Bin Laden’s death, will his death make the world safe and is this a final nail in the coffin of Al Qaeda? These are part of the big questions on his death which have been raised during the last 48 hours. Yet, there is a crucial question that no one touched on: was this operation inside Pakistan possible without the ISI assistance?

The answer for this question is simply no. The reality that lies behind this operation must have been caused by a deep rift inside the Pakistani intelligence service otherwise this operation would not be possible without cooperation between the ISI and CIA. It is now quite crystal clear for everyone that Osama was under the safeguard of ISI for the past few years. The fortified million dollar compound in which he dwelt and its location next to a military academy makes it clear that he was enjoying living under ISI protection.

The ISI has so far simply said that it did not know about the operation, and it is possible that they are contemplating how to find proper answers to the question: how is it possible for American forces to fly two helicopters from Afghanistan to Pakistan and launch an operation under the ISI’s nose, only a few kilo meters away from Islamabad? This incident definitely brought shame to Pakistani intelligence service and they must be now working on how to find this rift, and understand what was going wrong inside the organization.
The U.S forces could have used drone attacks to kill Osama Bin Laden, instead of risking their lives through ground operation. It would be less controversial and also less humiliating to Pakistan authorities. Anyway, it is a complex issue and it is too soon to tell what made things so easy for the U.S. Navy SEALs to manage this operation so successfully.


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