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Entries in intelligence (3)

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

Wednesday
May042011

'In Front of Her Eyes': Osama bin Laden's Teen Daughter Witnessed Death

George Doyle/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) -- A senior Pakistani security official told ABC News that Osama bin Laden's teen daughter saw her father killed "in front of her eyes," and admitted that Pakistani intelligence failed to catch America's most wanted man even though he was hiding in plain sight.

In an hour-long exclusive interview with ABC News, the official said all of bin Laden's relatives who were captured are cooperating with intelligence. That includes his 13-year-old daughter, who witnessed his killing, bin Laden's youngest wife, who was injured while defending him, and about six to seven other children.

The fact that bin Laden was hiding in a relatively comfortable house was "a failure" on the part of Pakistani officials, the official admitted, but he argued that the CIA was as much to blame for taking so long to find him, despite the money and technological resources at their disposal.

The official expressed bitterness both at an operation that kept them in the dark and at comments from American officials criticizing Pakistani cooperation and competence.

"We didn't know he was there. Yes, that was an omission and we have been remiss in our duties. But if it's true he was living there for years and the U.S. had information, who's incompetent?" he said. "If anyone failed for so long, it's the CIA."

Bin Laden's sprawling compound, located in an affluent neighborhood in the scenic town of Abbottabad, did not attract the attention of Pakistani security officials, in part, because it had been raided in 2003 in an attempt to capture Abu Faraj Al-Libi, an alleged senior al Qaeda operative who was later captured in 2005. Bin Laden did not think lightning would strike twice, the official said.

"It was a double bluff," he said, adding, "That kind of a house is not something extraordinary. Anyone with any amount of money would buy a house like that because they are concerned about security."

Pakistan officials have been on the defensive since the news was announced late Sunday that al Qaeda's leader and America's most wanted man was killed in a top-secret raid conducted by U.S. Navy SEALs.

Though U.S. intelligence agencies had been on bin Laden's trail for years, they did not inform their Pakistani counterparts until after the mission. The Pakistani intelligence was informed at around 2 a.m. Monday, just after the raid was conducted.

CIA head Leon Panetta told Time magazine that U.S. officials feared that "any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission. They might alert the targets." He also reportedly told members of Congress on Tuesday that the Pakistanis were either "involved or incompetent" and "neither place is a good place to be."

When he received news of bin Laden's death, the Pakistani official told ABC News he "was relieved but not happy with the way it was done."

He said the secrecy of the mission and Panetta's comments in recent days have hit Pakistani officials pretty hard, and will inevitably be "major blow" to U.S.-Pakistan cooperation for the near future.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Apr132011

CIA 'Considering' Intelligence Deal With Pakistan: Officials

CIA[dot]gov(WASHINGTON) -- In response to requests from Pakistan's premiere intelligence service, the CIA is considering sharing more information about its operatives inside Pakistan but has refused to reveal drone targets before CIA can strike them, according to a U.S. official and two Pakistani officials.

The possible change to a complex, difficult relationship between the intelligence agencies would be designed to heal a rift that threatened operations inside Pakistan that are among the most important in the world to finding senior al Qaeda and Taliban commanders.

The give-and-take occurred during a two hour and 25 minute conversation between CIA Director Leon Panetta and Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Ahmed Shuja Pasha in a rare meeting in CIA headquarters Monday, followed by a lunch with Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen.

In a sign the CIA has no intention of stopping the drone campaign, at least six CIA missiles slammed into a Taliban safe haven in Pakistan Wednesday morning, less than two days after the meeting.

The missiles, delivered by at least two unmanned drones piloted from the United States, killed Afghan and Arab fighters in the same house where a senior al Qaeda official was killed in 2003, according to local residents.

A Pakistani military official seemed put off by the strike, calling it a "show of strength" by the CIA. The prime minister criticized the strike in parliament, and in a press release, the Pakistani foreign ministry said the foreign secretary had "lodged a strong protest with the US ambassador."

Pakistani military officials said that in the meeting with Panetta, Pasha pushed for a formal "framework of engagement" that would restrict the operations CIA agents are allowed to pursue on the ground inside Pakistani borders.

That desire came to a head in January when CIA contractor Raymond Davis killed two people who, according to four Pakistani officials, were working for the ISI in Lahore. The ISI publicly claimed that it did not know who Davis was -- although three Pakistani government officials strongly deny that claim – and then used the incident as a way to try and convince the CIA to reveal all of its agents in Pakistan, some of whom the ISI in fact did not know, according to Pakistani officials.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio