According to the Guardian UK news site, citing both retired and serving US and Pakistani officials, the raid went without incident as a result of a secret deal that was reached in 2001 between then US President George W Bush and then Pakistani military leader General Pervez Musharraf.
The substance of the deal included that Pakistan would permit US military forces to enter and exit Pakistan to search for Osama bin Laden, along with his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, once they had credible intelligence demonstrating the likelihood of bin Laden’s presence. It was also agreed that subsequent to the raid, Pakistan would vehemently condemn the action.
The Guardian story also included a statement from an unnamed former senior US official familiar with counterterrorism, that said, “There was an agreement between Bush and Musharraf that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him.” He went on to say, “The Pakistanis would put up a hue and cry, but they would not stop us.”
In alignment with the alleged secret deal between the United States and Pakistan, following the raid on May 2, 2011 that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, Pakistani officials decried US actions and maintained they had no knowledge of it.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani issued a statement the day following the raid, stating, “Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force.” Musharraf also responded in kind, referring to the raid as a “violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan.”
The existence of the secret deal also parallels and aligns with the presence of US sponsored Predator drone strikes in Pakistan that increased in frequency over the past few months and killed numerous suspected al Queda members. The drone strikes have the informal support of the Pakistan military.
The same senior former US official stated, “We told them, over and again: ‘We’ll stop the Predators if you take these targets out yourselves.’”
In a recent interview with ABC News, Musharraf conjectures that it is possible that rogue lower-level Pakistan intelligence and military members may have possessed knowledge of bin Laden’s location and that there should be an investigation.
Watch a recent news report describing the Secret Deal to Kill bin Laden:
Musharraf, who resigned the Pakistan Presidency in 2008 amid threats of impeachment, currently resides in London. It is reported, however, he is considering a return to Pakistan to run for political office.
Image credit: Wikipedia
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