Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From Wikileaks - US Forces Were Very, Very Close To Bin Laden In 2008

The Guardian, which always does the fastest analysis of Wikileaks cables, has just released that back in 2008, US forces were as close as a few hundred yards away from OBL's Abbottabad compound (which incidentally is home to the Pakistan Military Academy which trains officers from across the nation. The academy is streets away from where Bin Laden was tracked down and killed.) From the Guardian: "The revelation that US forces were so close to the world's most wanted man in 2008 comes after material from the Guantánamo Files suggested the US may have received the intelligence that led them to Bin Laden as early as 2008. The US soldiers were due to perform a routine posting "training the trainers" of Pakistan's 70,000 strong federal military unit, the Frontier Corps." What a very unlucky coincidence. Surely, it explains the increased need for caffeine consumption by the Al Qaedan who surely needed to stay up at night and listen for SEALs jumping over the compound walls: "The two polite Pakistanis who helped Osama bin Laden hide in the shadow of their country’s army bought bulk food orders, chose major brands and equally favored Pepsi and Coke, neighbors and a local shopkeeper said." We wonder if the shopkeeper also sold the insulin so very desperately needed by the diabetic bin Laden following his Coke binges.

From the Guardian:

Abbottabad is home to the Pakistan Military Academy, the country's version of Sandhurst in Britain, and trains officers from across the nation. The academy is streets away from where Bin Laden was tracked down and killed.

The information about the US troops is contained in the account of a meeting in Washington between then deputy secretary of state John Negroponte and Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, discussing security co-operation and concerns across the country.

After both parties agreed the security plans lacked resources, Pakistan's national security advisor, Mahmud Ali Durrani, referred to the training co-operation.

"Durrani pledged Pakistan's support for the US Training-of-Trainers for the Frontier Corps starting in Abbottabad in October," the report read.

US forces may have visited the town for a second time, mere months later, according to the cable. "Due to the slow pace of construction, Durrani added he was doubtful that the more permanent training site at Warsak would be ready for the next iteration of training, scheduled in early 2009.

"Durrani thanked the US for its support of Pakistan's special forces, but requested more training and equipment to improve Pakistan's capacity, specifically citing lift capability and intelligence sharing."

Abbottabad is only infrequently mentioned in the 250,000 leaked embassy cables. The cables show the town, 50km north of Islamabad, also served as a distribution hub for US and UN aid in the wake of Pakistan's 2005 earthquake.

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