ISI chief gave up Osama bin Laden’s location: Seymour Hersh
ISI chief gave up Osama bin Laden’s location and triggered Abbottabad raid: Seymour Hersh
Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran American journalist Seymour Hersh claims bin Laden was a prisoner of ISI since 2006.
Seymour Hersh claims that Saudi Arabia had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his seizure by the ISI. (Source: AP)
Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Updated: May 13, 2015 10:46 am
Veteran American journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed that Osama bin Laden was a prisoner of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006, and that a Pakistani intelligence officer gave him up to the US in return for a $25 million reward.
Writing in the London Review of Books on the fourth anniversary of the Abbottabad raid that killed bin Laden, Hersh claimed that the then Pakistan army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and head of ISI, Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, knew of the US Navy Seals’ raid and made sure that the two helicopters carrying the Seals to Abbottabad crossed Pakistani airspace without triggering an alarm.
Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, home to the Pakistan Military Academy, on the night of May 2, 2011, in a CIA-led operation conducted by Seal Team Six of the US Navy.
As per the official US version, bin Laden’s location at Abbottabad was identified by the CIA by tracking an al-Qaeda courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Hersh, however, claims that a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer betrayed the secret of bin Laden’s presence at Abbottabad in return for the $25 million reward offered by the US.Hersh won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting after he broke the story on the My Lai massacre in 1969 during the Vietnam War. His reports in 2004 on the US military’s ill-treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq also drew global attention.
In August 2010, this Pakistani intelligence officer, who has since been relocated with his family to Washington and is a consultant to the CIA, walked into the office of the CIA Station Chief at the US embassy in Islamabad. Allowing the CIA Station Chief, Jonathan Bank, to be named in a criminal suit for murder which led to him being moved out of Pakistan soon after was part of an elaborate cover-up of its complicity by the ISI, according to Hersh.
The walk-in, Hersh claims, had told the US that bin Laden had lived undetected from 2001 to 2006 with some of his wives and children in the Hindu Kush mountains, and that “the ISI got to him by paying some of the local tribal people to betray him.”
Bin Laden was very ill, and that early on in his confinement at Abbottabad, the ISI had ordered Amir Aziz, a doctor and a major in the Pakistani army, to move near his compound to provide treatment. Aziz was also given a part of the $25 million reward because he got the DNA sample which conclusively proved that it was bin Laden in Abbottabad.
Hersh claims that Saudi Arabia had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his seizure by the ISI. While he agrees that US President Barack Obama did order the raid, he claims that many other aspects of the US government’s account are false.
Hersh also says that bin Laden was never buried at sea, as claimed by Obama, and some of his body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains by the Seals as they returned to to Jalalabad in Afghanistan.
First Published on: May 11, 20157:32 am
Osama’s hideout carved out of Pak military academy
Eminent American journalist claims Abbottabad compound was 'carved out' from military academy compound.
Written by Agencies | Published on:August 22, 2012 2:54 pm
In a fresh damning disclosure,a new book has claimed that Abbottabad house where al-Qaeda chief lived was “carved out” from Pakistan Military Academy compound and its powerful army chief may have been briefed beforehand on the ‘kill Osama mission’.
‘Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him’,penned by eminent American journalist Richard Miniter,which has hit the stands,claims that land of the Abbottabad compound,where Osama bin Laden lived with his family,was “carved out” from the elite military academy compound.
The book also claims that army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani may have been briefed by the US on its operation to kill bin Laden,some five months in advance.
“Pakistan’s Army chief of staff may have been briefed in December 2010,five months before the nighttime raid on bin Laden’s concrete castle. Far from taking a risk,there are indications that a cover story had been developed with the Pakistani military and that (Barack) Obama had their tacit consent for the mission,” claims Miniter,a former reporter with ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and ‘The Washington Post’.
Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs inside his compound in Abbottabad,Pakistan in May 2011.
The book also says a colonel in the Pakistan’s spy agency ISI had provided vital help to the CIA in tracing bin Laden.
“A colonel in Pakistan’s feared intelligence service,the Inter-Services Institute or ISI,provided vital help in locating Bin Laden when he walked into the CIA’s Islamabad
station in August 2010,” says the book.
“In a never-before-reported account,Pakistan was more involved in the bin Laden operation than Obama’s team admitted. When the CIA revealed that an ISI colonel had contacted the CIA in Islamabad and offered information about bin Laden,a debate followed,” it says.
Did Musharraf know bin Laden’s hiding place?
Bin Laden reportedly lived in the walled compound in Abbottabad for five years.
Written by Agencies | Islamabad | Published on:February 15, 2012 2:08 pm
Former president Pervez Musharraf knew that Osama bin Laden was hiding in the garrison town of Abbottabad and the Pakistani intelligence itself had made the safe house that sheltered him,a former ISI chief has alleged,according to a media report.
Former CIA official Bruce Riedel quoted ex-ISI chief Gen (retired) Ziauddin Khwaja alias Ziauddin Butt,as saying that Musharraf “knew bin Laden was in Abbottabad”.
In an article for The Daily Beast website,Riedel further quoted Butt as saying that bin Laden’s safe house in Abbottabad “was made to order” by Brig Ijaz Shah,a former head of the Intelligence Bureau.
“Ziauddin says Ijaz Shah was responsible for setting up bin Laden in Abbottabad,ensuring his safety and keeping him hidden from the outside. And Ziauddin says Musharraf knew all about it,” Riedel wrote in the article.
However,Butt told the Geo News channel today that he had been misquoted in the article.
He did not give details.
US Special Forces killed the al Qaeda chief in a pre-dawn raid on a compound in Abbottabad,located a short distance from the elite Pakistan Military Academy,in May last year.
Since then,American officials have questioned whether elements in Pakistan’s security establishment were aware of bin Laden’s presence in the country.
Bin Laden reportedly lived in the walled compound in Abbottabad for five years.
Riedel referred to US suspicions in his article,writing: “Ever since the Navy SEALs found Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad,Pakistan,less than a mile from the country’s national military academy,the question haunting American relations with Pakistan has been: who knew he was there?”
Butt was made head of the ISI by former premier Nawaz Sharif and served in the post during 1997-99.
He was the first head of the army’s Strategic Plans Division,which controls the nuclear arsenal.
Sharif promoted Butt to the post of army chief in October 1999 when he tried to fire Musharraf.
Musharraf then launched a coup that deposed Sharif’s government.
Butt spent two years in solitary confinement,was discharged from the army and had his property confiscated.
Riedel noted that he thus had “a motive to speak harshly about Musharraf”.
Brig (retired) Ijaz Shah,a former ISI bureau head in Lahore,served as chief of the Intelligence Bureau when former premier Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan from self-exile in 2007. Bhutto linked him to an attempt to assassinate her but he
denied the charges.
Shah has been closely linked to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh,a British-born Kashmiri terrorist who was imprisoned in India in 1994 for kidnapping three Britons and an American.
Saeed was freed when Pakistani terrorists hijacked an Indian airliner to Kandahar in December 2000.
Saeed was part of the plot to kidnap journalist Daniel Pearl and turned himself in to Shah.
Riedel further wrote: “We don’t know who was helping hide bin Laden but we need to track them down. If (Musharraf) knew,then he should be questioned by the authorities the next time he sets foot in America”.
He added that if American authorities can find who hid bin Laden,”we will probably know who is hiding his successor,Ayman Zawahiri,and the rest of the Al Qaeda gang”.
Obama administration trashes Seymour Hersh’s claims on Osama arrest, says Pakistan had no advance knowledge
The Obama administration says the Pakistanis didn't know about the Osama bin Laden raid in advance.
The Obama administration dismissed Seymour Hersh's claims, said the Pakistanis didn't know about the raid that captured Osama bin Laden in advance. (Source: Reuters photo)
The White House is dismissing as untrue an article alleging that President Barack Obama misled the public about how the US killed Osama bin Laden.
Spokesman Josh Earnest says journalist Seymour Hersh’s piece in the London Review of Books is “riddled with inaccuracies and outright falsehoods.”
Earnest noted former CIA deputy director Michael Morell’s reaction to the article — that he stopped reading because every sentence was wrong.
Hersh attributes his information to a retired general of the Pakistani intelligence service and several unidentified sources in the U.S. and Pakistan. He says bin Laden was secretly kept as a prisoner by the Pakistanis and that they helped the U.S. stage the raid on his compound.
The Obama administration says the Pakistanis didn’t know about the raid in advance.