Here are some facts you may have missed...
Quoting Pakistani officials, a number of media reports state that Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden could not have hidden in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad (where he was killed) without the knowledge of the Pakistani military, especially its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The website of the leading Indian weekly magazine India Today published a report from its Pakistan correspondent titled "Osama Dead: Pak May Have Known About His Presence in Abbottabad." The report noted growing speculation that Osama bin Laden was killed at a safehouse operated by the ISI. Two more reports were published by the websites rediff.com and timesofindia.com that indicated that the ISI knew bin Laden's whereabouts.
It should be noted that the website of the Urdu-language Pakistani daily Roznama Jang reported earlier today that Pakistani army forces did not participate in the operation to kill bin Laden. The report quoted a statement of the Pakistani Foreign Office as confirming that Osama bin Laden was killed in the operation but the "Pakistani security forces did not take part in the operation."
The Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is known to be the most powerful player in Pakistan, virtually dictating Pakistan's foreign relations with Afghanistan, India, and the United States. It has been known over the past several decades for its support to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Last month, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated in Islamabad that the ISI continues to support the Haqqani Network, the second largest group of militants among the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"Pak May Have Known About His Presence in Abbottabad"
Following are excerpts from the India Today report:
"A senior Pakistan military official has told India Today that it was impossible for the army to have not known that Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was in Abbottabad. This has further fuelled speculation that Osama was killed in an ISI safehouse. Bin Laden was killed in the operation late on Sunday night at a mansion in Abbottabad, 80 kilometers north of Islamabad.
"The cantonment [military camp] town houses many military institutions, including Pakistan's Military Academy at Kakul, where most of its military elite - including present [Pakistan Army] chief General [Ashfaq Pervez] Kayani - have passed through.
"The joint operation of Pakistani troops and American special forces that killed Osama bin Laden did not encounter any fierce resistance from the Al-Qaeda chief's bodyguards. 'There was minimal resistance and none of the troops in the operation were injured,' the official told India Today.
"Sources say this was unusual for a high-value target like bin Laden, who was normally surrounded by dozens of his elite bodyguards. No one was willing to talk about how many troops took part in this operation. Bin Laden's body was transported to Bagram airbase near Kabul, Afghanistan.
"Pakistan-U.S. intelligence agencies got a tip-off last Friday that Osama was hiding somewhere in Abbottabad. After tracing the exact location, a joint operation was carried out by special troops of Pak and U.S. Special Forces, which finally killed Osama bin Laden along with some of Al-Qaeda operatives.
"However, a spokesperson of Inter-Services public relations [of the Pakistani military] Major General Athar Abbas declined [to] comment. The Pakistan Foreign Office has stated that bin Laden was killed in an 'intelligence driven operation' around Abbottabad in the early hours of this morning. 'The operation was carried out by U.S. forces in accordance with the declared U.S. policy that Osama bin Laden will be eliminated in a direct action by U.S. forces wherever found in the world,' the statement said…"
'If Bin Laden Managed to Play Hide and Seek with the World All This While, It was Only Thanks to ISI's Patronage"
A report titled "More Shame and Retribution Heading ISI's Way" and published on the Indian website rediff.com also noted that Osama bin Laden could not have lived in Abbottabad without the knowledge of the Pakistani military. Following are excerpts from the report:
"Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI] is bound to be cornered in the days to come following the killing of dreaded terrorist Osama bin Laden.
"A source in the intelligence agency says that Osama's death will no doubt put the ISI in a very uncomfortable position among the Al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network, and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, who now feel betrayed by the agency.
"When the dust settles, more embarrassment could come the ISI's way with the trial of terror suspects David Coleman Headley and Tahhawur Rana, due to commence [in a Chicago court].
"Nothing in the Af-Pak region goes unnoticed by the ISI, and if bin Laden managed to play hide-and-seek with the world all this while, it was only thanks to ISI's patronage. Although the U.S. has claimed that Pakistan was not in the know of this operation, terror groups would not believe so.
"They are aware that nothing is possible unless there has been a certain degree of support from the establishment. Moreover, Osama was living in a place close to the army headquarters in Abbottabad, about 70 kilometers northeast of Pakistan's capital Islamabad. This is not a fact that would have gone unnoticed by the ISI.
"The Pakistan military largely depends on the intelligence provided by the ISI, and hence all these movements and operations are well known to the establishment.