WASHINGTON – It appears the Pakistani government had no idea where terrorist kingpin Osama bin Laden was hiding, said Adm. William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.
Pakistan wasn’t informed of the May 2011 raid in advance because U.S. leaders believed the opposite, and that prior notice would compromise the mission, the Pentagon’s American Forces Press Service quoted McRaven telling a Washington audience on Wednesday at the Heroes Summit, sponsored by Newsweek and the Daily Beast.
Bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad, a town where Pakistan’s major military academy is located, and home to many military officers. “How could they not know he was there?” is how McRaven described the attitude of U.S. officials at the time. But a post-raid assessment of the operation that killed the al-Qaida mastermind indicates the Pakistani government likely did not, McRaven said.
Bitterness over the secret, Navy SEAL-led operation has strained U.S-Pakistan relations in the ensuing 18 months, and Pakistan has complained the United States violated its sovereignty with the raid.