Bin Laden’s Last Stand Raises Concern of Pakistan Connection
The final location of Osama bin Laden was at a compound right next to Pakistan’s leading military academy. President Barack Obama said intelligence on bin Laden’s location was presented to him in late August, suggesting bin Laden was a long-term resident at the location.
Obama said he gave the go-ahead on the mission last week, after he “determined that we had enough intelligence to take action.”
Pakistan locals tweeted and blogged as helicopters flew overhead and as explosions echoed from a compound near the military academy. Local resident Sohaib Athar posted an image of the compound on Twitter, which appeared to be still in the process of construction. Similar images of the compound were posted by Radio Free Europe.
The mountainous resort town, full of Pakistan military, and home to two of its largest military bases in the north, seemed an unlikely place for bin Laden to be hiding. According to Jere Van Dyk, however, the location sits perfectly with what he was told by Taliban fighters and local residents.
“Every single Afghan and Pakistani Pashtun I met said bin Laden was too big; not in stature, but too big politically, too important for them to hide. It would be impossible for him to hide in a so-called cave along the border,” he said.
Van Dyk lived alongside the mujahedeen, Muslim fighters, in the 1980s and maintains contact with high-ranking Afghan officials. He was captured by the Taliban in 2008, an experience he recounts in his book, “Captive, My Time As A Prisoner Of The Taliban.”
While Van Dyk was in the Taliban prison, he was told by his jailor, and by bodyguards, that bin Laden was “being kept by an institution deep inside Pakistan where you will never find them.”
“By institution I think they meant some part of the Pakistani military,” van Dyk said.
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