Pakistan Ties with bin Laden? Washington Didn't Trust Islamabad
Why Wasn't Pakistan Involved in Osama bin Laden Strike?
Osama bin Laden was hiding in plain sight in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In fact, he lived only a few miles from a major military academy in a neighborhood favored by retired Pakistani military brass. It's hard to ignore the likelihood that elements the Pakistani government either knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding, or had strong links to those who did.
WikiLeaks had published documents showing that US diplomats were convinced that Pakistan was tipping off bin Laden whenever American forces got too close.
Osama bin Laden was living in relative luxury in the middle of an affluent area, surrounded by Pakistani military and intelligence. One would think that a household behaving so strangely for so long would attract a little more law-enforcement attention, considering its location.
It's impossible not to do the math. Counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said that it was "inconceivable" that Osama bin Laden didn't have local help. Brennan stopped short of openly accusing Pakistan's government of helping bin Laden, but that suspicion is fairly well known by now.
The US has publicly refused to rule out Pakistani aid to bin Laden, and mistrust would be a major reason to keep the local intelligence services in the dark. While Pakistan claimed a role in the strike that killed the al-Qaeda founder, the US said it acted alone and in secret, not informing Islamabad until after Navy SEAL Team Six had left Pakistani airspace.
While jihadists the world over are realizing just how far the US is willing to go to track down terrorists (billions of dollars spent, thousands of lives lost), this covert military strike was also an unmistakable message to Pakistan.