The PJ Tatler

Pakistanis Knew bin Laden been Hidin' There

Not a surprise. More like a confirmation.

Osama bin Laden was in routine contact with several senior figures from Pakistan’s military intelligence agency while in hiding in the country, according to a large cache of secret intelligence files.

The disclosure was contained in emails from the private American security company Stratfor which were published by WikiLeaks on Monday after being obtained by the Anonymous hacking group.

According to one of the emails, the company was shown the information papers collected from bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound after the US special forces attack last May that resulted in his death. The email, from a Stratfor analyst, suggested up to 12 officials in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency knew of the al-Qaeda leader’s safe house.

The internal email did not name the Pakistani officials involved but said the US could use the information as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Islamabad after the raid.

American officials have always believed it was impossible for the ISI not to have known that bin Laden was sheltering in a garrison town so close to Islamabad. Pakistan has repeatedly dismissed the charge.