Friday 15 November 2019

Obama says Pakistan helped hide Bin Laden

A still image showing Osama bin Laden, taken from one of five videos found in his compound and released by the US yesterday
A still image showing Osama bin Laden, taken from one of five videos found in his compound and released by the US yesterday

Toby Harnden in Washington and Jon Swaine in New York

PRESIDENT Barack Obama has suggested for the first time that "people inside of government" in Pakistan could have helped harbour Osama bin Laden.

The comments, the strongest about Pakistan made by Mr Obama so far, came as his administration stepped up pressure on the Islamic republic for a full investigation into who gave him sanctuary so close to Islamabad.

"We think that there had to be some sort of support network for Bin Laden inside of Pakistan," Mr Obama said.

"But we don't know who or what that support network was.

"We don't know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government, and that's something that we have to investigate and, more importantly, the Pakistani government has to investigate."

In an interview with CBS News, Mr Obama confirmed that the US would not be releasing the photographs of Bin Laden's body.

"Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain this was him. We've done DNA sampling and testing," he said.

"And so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden.

"It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence. As a propaganda tool. You know, that's not who we are. You know, we don't trot out this stuff as trophies," he added.


Last Friday, al-Qa'ida released a statement confirming Bin Laden's death and promising to release his last tape.

Yesterday, an Islamist website claimed to have a copy of the audio recording, which was addressed to Mr Obama.

In it, Bin Laden said: "America will not be able to dream of security until we live in security in Palestine. It is unfair that you live in peace while our brothers in Gaza live in insecurity. Accordingly, and with the will of God, our attacks will continue against you as long as your support for Israel continues."

Tom Donilon, Mr Obama's National Security Adviser, demanded that Pakistan allow the CIA to question the three widows of Bin Laden left behind in his compound after last Sunday's raid. But he said the US had not "seen evidence" of Pakistani collusion.

"They need to provide us with intelligence, by the way, from the compound that they've gathered, including access to Osama bin Laden's three wives who they have in custody," he said.

Pakistan have been holding the widows and eight of his children since the American raid that killed Bin Laden, an adult son, a woman, and the two brothers who owned the compound.

Amal Ahmed Abdul Fatah (27) his fifth and youngest wife, was shot in the leg as she attempted to protect her husband.

The Yemeni woman is said to have told her Pakistani interrogators that she had lived in the Abbottabad compound for six years. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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