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Entries in Abbotabad (8)

Monday
Aug152011

Defying US, Pakistan Let China Study Secret Chopper Downed in Bin Laden Op

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD) -- In what may be the latest evidence of the breakdown in its relationship with the U.S., Pakistan reportedly gave China access to a secret stealth American helicopter that went down during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May.

The Financial Times reports that Pakistani intelligence gave the Chinese military access to the modified U.S. Black Hawk helicopter that crashed into the wall of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad during the mission. Navy SEALs destroyed part of it after it went down but the tail section was left intact.

According to the newspaper, the Chinese -- who supply weapons and equipment to Pakistan's military -- were allowed to survey and photograph the wreckage, even though the U.S. had asked Pakistan to secure it.

Eventually, a visit from Sen. John Kerry convinced Pakistan to return what was left of the damaged craft -- but that was after the Chinese studied it.

Pictures of the secret helicopter have appeared online and it's not immediately clear how useful to the Chinese their own survey would be; that being said, the Chinese military has become adept at reverse-engineering military hardware from other countries, including the U.S.

One critical element of the chopper is its radar-absorbing "skin;" the Pakistanis reportedly allowed the Chinese to snatch samples of the top-secret coating.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun212011

First Review of Bin Laden's 'Treasure Trove' Completed

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Round one of going through the intelligence taken from Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan is over.

The initial review of what's been described as a "treasure trove" of intelligence has been completed by an inter-agency team that includes CIA officials and other analysts.

The Navy SEALs who killed bin Laden during the May 1 raid managed to collect materials that included computer discs and the late al Qaeda leader's handwritten journal, describing plans to launch attacks on the U.S.

While bin Laden wrote about strikes against airports, railroads, subways and large places where people congregate, there apparently was no direct mention of an imminent assault, although al Qaeda seems intent on doing something on or around the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

There's also the impression, judging by what was found in the intelligence, that al Qaeda operatives are under great pressure to keep changing locations because of unmanned CIA drone attacks in the northwest region of Pakistan that borders Afghanistan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun092011

FBI Chief Warns Bin Laden's Death Won't Deter Al Qaeda

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Al Qaeda is determined to strike the U.S. again, according to intelligence taken from the compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden lived with his family for several years.

The trove of intelligence gathered by Navy SEALs after gunning down the al Qaeda leader is revealing new information about the group's plans to wreak havoc in the U.S. and elsewhere, FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

The FBI chief said as analysts pore over documents and software taken from bin Laden's hideaway in Abbottabad, "we are focused on the new information about the homeland threat gained from this operation."

Mueller's 10-year term at the FBI is wrapping up soon, although President Obama has asked Congress to bend the rules and extend it another two years.

Judging by the favorable reaction he received Wednesday on Capitol Hill, Mueller just may be allowed to stick around.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun022011

Courier Who Led CIA to Osama Bin Laden Identified

CNN via Getty Images(ISLAMABAD) -- The man who inadvertently tipped off the CIA to Osama bin Laden's whereabouts has been identified.

Pakistani officials said that Ibrahim Saeed Ahmed, a courier for the late al Qaeda leader, was the accidental hero, at least in U.S. eyes.

His cell phone call last year outside of bin Laden's compound was intercepted by the CIA and ultimately led them to Abbottabad, about an hour's drive from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.  Bin Laden was killed during a U.S. Special Forces raid of the compound on May 1.

U.S. intelligence first learned about Ahmed, a protégé of admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, through an al Qaeda operative.  He originally came from the Swat Valley, a Taliban stronghold where bin Laden lived for years before moving to Abbottabad.

Ahmed and his brother were also shot dead by Navy SEALs during the raid on bin Laden's compound.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun012011

Pakistani Panel to Probe Osama Bin Laden Raid

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD) -- A Pakistani commission that will study the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in early May wants to be truly independent.

That means no intrusion from the military that most say is the real power in Pakistan.

The government has asked the panel to investigate how the al Qaeda leader was able to live undetected with his family for several years in the sprawling compound just a short distance away from Pakistan's version of the West Point military academy.

Commission members will also probe the U.S. Special Forces raid that killed bin Laden and learn what security lapses occurred on the Pakistani side.  The panel will then make its recommendations to parliament.

The probe comes at a time when Pakistan's military and intelligence services are under greater scrutiny than ever before, which might allow the government-assigned panel to be more critical than generally accepted of its national security forces.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May192011

Gates Believes 'Somebody' in Pakistan Knew of Bin Laden's Hideout

Charles Dharapak - Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If there is really such a thing as giving someone the benefit of the doubt, the White House is stretching that idea to the limit in how it's dealing with Pakistan in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that while it's his opinion "somebody" in Pakistan knew that bin Laden was holed up in an Abbottabad compound with his wives and children, the administration can't say with any certainty that senior Pakistani leaders were aware the al Qaeda leader was living under their noses for years.

Still, the White House is not letting go of the theory that some "support network" had to exist in order for bin Laden to continue living undetected just a short distance from the Pakistani equivalent of the West Point military academy.

Gates admitted, "We don’t know whether it was retired people, whether it was low level -- pure supposition on our part.  It's hard to go to them with an accusation when we have no proof that anybody knew."

Such evidence may eventually turn up as U.S. intelligence goes through a trove of computer files found at the compound where Navy SEALs killed bin Laden, along with one of his sons and three others.

Asked if senior Pakistani leaders should be penalized in some fashion if it's shown they were ignorant of bin Laden's whereabouts, Gates responded, "If I were in Pakistani shoes, I would say I've already paid a price -- I've been humiliated, I've been shown that the Americans can come in here and do this with impunity."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May172011

Abbottabad, Pakistan: 2011 Vacation Hot Spot?

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan) -- Looking for the perfect vacation spot this summer?  Why not consider Abbottabad, Pakistan.

As nutty as it might seem to people outside that country, Pakistani hotel owners are hoping that the notoriety their city has gained since the death of Osama bin Laden two weeks ago might attract even more visitors to a "popular summer resort," as it's listed on the official tourism website.

Before all the hoopla, Abbottabad was already a favorite spot for so-called "day-trippers" who wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the capital of Islamabad.

Tucked away in Pakistan's northwest region, which also happens to be a refuge for Taliban and al Qaeda operatives, Abbottabad is said to offer a variety of sight-seeing attractions, independent of the compound where bin Laden and various family members lived for a number of years.

Apparently, the peacefulness of the city hasn't been disturbed much at all since Navy SEALs raided the compound, and some believe the incident will actually work to Abbottabad's advantage.

Azam Khan, provincial secretary for tourism and culture, remarked, "I believe that tourism will not be impacted; rather, more people are coming to see the place where the incident happened."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
May072011

Source: Osama bin Laden Also Lived Elsewhere in Pakistan

USGS[dot]gov(ISLAMABAD) -- Osama bin Laden had apparently been living in or near urban Pakistan areas for longer than had originally been thought.

A Pakistani military source tells ABC News that bin Laden lived in a village located outside of Haripur, prior to taking up residence in Abbotabad, where he was killed by Navy SEALs early Monday morning local time. Pakistani officials reportedly found out about bin Laden’s prior place of residence after questioning the al Qaeda leader’s wives who were taken into custody after he was killed.

Bin Laden had reportedly been living in the village with a huge family of wives, children and grandchildren, however, it is not clear just exactly how long he lived there before moving to Abbotabad. Pakistani government officials claim to have had no knowledge that bin laden was hiding out in the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio