Osama Bin Laden.—File Photo
Osama Bin Laden.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Abbottabad (Osama bin Laden) Commission has concluded that the global terror kingpin’s nine-year-long stay in Pakistan and the May 2011 secret US raid, in which he was killed, were because of “gross incompetence” of the state institutions, but was particularly critical of ISI for being too casual in first tracking him and then investigating the May 2 denouement.

The 336-page classified report, which was revealed by Al Jazeera on its website on Monday, a day after Dawn carried the initial story, was a scathing criticism of the performance of the intelligence agencies, with the commission members specifically observing that the most well-resourced ISI acted unprofessionally, lacked commitment to fight extremism and terror and obstructed the performance of other spy outfits.

Accessing the report on Al Jazeera’s website became difficult soon after it was released due to unexplained reasons.

The five-member commission led by Justice Javed Iqbal believed that “culpable negligence and incompetence at almost all levels of government can more or less be conclusively established”.

Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid on his Abbottabad hideout on the night of May 1-2, 2011, by a team of US Navy SEALs from the US Naval Special Warfare Development Group with CIA support. The operation was ordered by President Obama.

The US special troops, who had flown into Pakistan on board four helicopters undetected by PAF radars, remained in Pakistani territory for about three hours including up to 38 minutes that they spent on the operation inside Bin Laden home.

The incident had sparked a public outcry in the country with the people asking how the most sought after fugitive lived in the country evading the snooping eyes of otherwise menacing local spies and how did US carry out hours-long hostile operation without any resistance from the military.

Confronted with a barrage of domestic and international criticism, the government first held an in-camera session of the parliament, which called for a detailed probe. The commission constituted in the first week of June started functioning on July 5 because of political wrangling that delayed its notification for weeks.

The commission which investigated the various aspects of OBL’s stay and killing in the US raid felt that the entire system had become dysfunctional and described the situation as “Government Implosion Syndrome”.

The result, the members observed, was “military humiliation, national outrage and instrumental outrage”. It was noted that the ISI had prematurely stopped tracking OBL in view of fading US interest in him. Retrospectively it looked the Americans could have stopped sharing information with ISI because of a trust gulf, but themselves never gave up search for him.

“There was no real search for OBL allowing its (ISI’s) foreign and domestic critics to allege that its operatives were too close to their ‘assets’”, the report said.

But, curiously, the premier intelligence agency did not seriously carry out investigations after the May 2 incident.

The agency neither tried to locate the addresses where the Al Qaeda chief and his family members lived before arriving in Abbottabad, nor did it probe the leads given by those interrogated.

“It just prevented other authorised agencies from doing possibly a better job despite their relative lack of resources,” the commission maintained.

It said that while the civilian agencies were incompetent and lacked initiative, the powerful non-civilian outfits denied them space and resources.

The statements made before the commission showed that ISI had arrogated to itself the counter-terror role and there was no clear government direction in this regard.

The civilian agencies including FIA and IB got their share of criticism also.

The then acting chief of FIA was said to be unaware of the mandate of his agency and thought that the head of IB was indulging in “idle gossip with the commission” and having not fully probed the information that was available to him.

The IB’s report on the incident was said to have been mainly based on media reports.

The commission suspected that there could have been rogue elements in intelligence agencies or retired military personnel, who could have acted as OBL’s support network and references were made to Hizbut Tehrir’s involvement with some of the officers.

The MI chief denied the assertion saying there were no rogue elements within the intelligence agencies.

The MI director general admitted to negligence of his and other intelligence agencies in chasing high-value targets, with one example of Umer Patek, who too was arrested from Abbottabad, but no follow-up was done.

The commission said that not investigating Patek’s other links was more than mere negligence.

It also observed that none of the arrested high-value targets were thoroughly probed and were rather handed over to the Americans in a rush.

For further reading: Findings of Abbottabad Commission: How US reached Osama

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Comments (66) (Closed)

Jul 09, 2013 06:59am

Fake report and it has heen tried to make fool to the world.

Jul 09, 2013 08:08am

Stop this non-sense stuff.

Jul 09, 2013 08:24am

Why don't these rogue elements stop Al-Qaida from bombing civilians at least. Please make them have some mercy and let people live their lives.

Jul 09, 2013 08:32am

If he was killed in Abbottabad where is his body, answer me this question and I will believe the whole story.

Jul 09, 2013 09:08am

It's high time that our (so called) respectable institutions mend their ways & focus on their core responsibilities. Competency & professionalism of all at the helm of such state institutions is questionable.

Jul 09, 2013 09:16am

We need a Homeland security style overarching intelligence mechanism. Do away with duplication and address on ground intelligence gathering.

Jul 09, 2013 09:29am

What a shame on Pakistani army/ISI ! These are the institution build to prectect national interest but they are the reason for embersment for people of pakistion. They have their own personal agenda to work and they have no interest in people of Pakistan. Hopefully US will learnt something and stop funding them bullion of $.

Jul 09, 2013 09:51am

It is very unfortunate for the commission that they have to wrap up the useless report, mainly due to change of govt. Otherwise it was a good source of bread and butter for the commission....:(

Jul 09, 2013 10:09am

There is no sense of shame or guilt in our country. Did any one resign vountarily after such a disgraceful spectre? Did any general or politician bat an eye lid when 93,000 sodiers surrendered meekly in East Pakistan? Nothing will happen, no one shall be pinished, it shall be business as usual till the next debacle.

Hasan Hasni
Jul 09, 2013 10:13am

Confidential report made public by our corrupt bureaucracy. They shall be charged under article 6. Downloaded the report from web look good and investigation agencies shall adopt its finding.

C S Malhotra
Jul 09, 2013 10:16am

Osama Bin Laden stayed in Pakistan with full knowledge of all agencies who also facilitated his stay by co-operation, collusion, collaboration and complicity of each and every agency. They had no desire, will or motivation to search Bin Laden at all. That explains suspicions of US Government and they decided to go it alone. What greater humiliation can be there for a nation that their own ally sneaks into their country, captures and kills the man they want and go away with his body. Mission accomplished.

C.K. George
Jul 09, 2013 10:24am

It was rather difficult to believe the statements of Mr. Musharraf and others in power that OBL was not in Pakistan after the 9-11 incidents. Many apprehended that he was in this territory as it was the safest haven for him and a few mused that he could be even in the palace of Mr. Musharaf. When OBL was killed by the US Navy Zeal these presumptions and assumptions became true as the place where OBL was shot dead is only 30 km away from the Military Head Quarters. Nobody can make believe others perpetually by telling lies. The report prepared by the Commission under the authority of the Parliament exposes the facts and brings better credibility to the government system.

Jul 09, 2013 10:28am

They take obl with them and news stay's here, they take what they want always, and it might be possible report already been gone(sold) to them...!!!

Shankar Bandyopadhay
Jul 09, 2013 10:39am

The most wanted man in the world can hide for 9 years in key cities..come on ..you need a better excuse than 'incompetence'. The truth is obvious ie he was protected by the Pakistanis for milking more dollar out of USA. Enough of this guy...he is dead and is fish food by now. Important question is which city of Pakistan Zawahiri is hiding ? How much money Pakistanis have made from USA by pretending to find him ?

Prof. Nasik Elahi
Jul 09, 2013 11:05am

The commission report should be used to bring transparency and acoountability to a critical process. The standards of performance need to be demanded of the officials so their agencies can carry out their missions more effectively. Further, the manadates of the various intelligence agencies should be publicly stated so they can perform without tripping over each other.

Jul 09, 2013 11:16am

Since Pakistan came into being our top expenditure has been on defence. Our number one priority has been security, the nation has sacrificed to make all resources available to our defenders and had even tolerated their rule on the country. However, today Pakistan's number 1 problem is security that continues to deteriorate with each passing year. What waste of resources. We could have spent this money on educating the simple people of Pakistan and uplift the quality of their everyday life that they have been deprived of.

Jul 09, 2013 11:59am

"The 336-page classified report, which was revealed by Al Jazeera on its website on Monday..." I simply love this sentence (begining of second paragraph). Classified??

K G Surendran
Jul 09, 2013 12:23pm

Let us hope for the sake of peace the Pakistani establishment does not repeat its mistakes because these mistakes have marred Pakistan's image internationally, which will take a very, very long time to redeem. It is the people of Pakistan who have paid a heavy price for these flawed policies and going forward it can ill afford a repeat considering the circumstances prevailing in the country. It is good that the Commission has made scathing observations and it is only genuine introspection that leads out of morass.

Javed Arshad
Jul 09, 2013 01:02pm

Its a good beginning, all investigative reports related to major national debacles in the past must be published and those not investigated yet should be investigated and brought to day light. We may or may not choose to punish the culprits but it will serve to learn lessons , take corrective actions and move on to a better tomorrow.

Gerry D'Cunha
Jul 09, 2013 01:23pm

all rubbish and bull shit stories. the intelligence services were aware of OBL presence in pakistan and so were some high religious scholars - these stories are only to hide their embarrasment. the americans were clever in knowing their tricks and fooled the intelligence services in tracking down OBL through their own mean

Jul 09, 2013 01:42pm

Lets not blame the military. They have their hands full running bakeries, banks, airlines and cornflake factories and ofcourse the country itself. They've long outsourced the job of protecting the borders to militants.

Jul 09, 2013 02:14pm

Tell us something we don't know.

Pervez Mukkadam
Jul 09, 2013 03:19pm

Thanks ISI/ Army now you have added to making pakistan the laughing stock of the world..... as if the politicians wernt doing a good job of this already!

Jul 09, 2013 03:24pm

@Parvez: Read something which most of the Pakistani never accept. Some even do not accept that OBL was killed in Abbotabad

Jul 09, 2013 03:24pm

what ever happened will hurt pakistan forever,it will give pain and shame to pakistani people who living in USA

Jul 09, 2013 03:35pm

@Parvez: agreed Pakistani already knows all this duno why they spend millions on this useless commission.

Jul 09, 2013 03:48pm

Osama lived among us for 9 years and world was made guessing where the kingpin was hiding...

M. Siddique
Jul 09, 2013 04:24pm

Incompetency did not stop at ISI or spy agencies but it is extended to armed forces as well. I am sure the command and control of well fed and well nourished armed forces does not depend on ISI to provide information before they act.

The commanders were caught with their pants down and were dosing off when over three hours of operation was launched. Day in and day out the army commanders keep telling the nation the defense is impeneratble. Some heads must roll. If Kiyani has little bit of professional honor, he should resign.

Those who think Army is above criticism are living in fools paradise. Remember most of Pakistan's budget and foreign aid goes for Millitary's welfare not the defense of the country. Wake up Pakistan, time for accountability of armed forces has come.

raja hindustani
Jul 09, 2013 04:47pm

I don't know why reports is calling this as gross incompentance..??

Hiding most wanted man from USA & whole world for 9 years is not small thing. Its show high competancy & high degree of integrity & professionalism of those pakistani authorities involved in this.

Jul 09, 2013 04:55pm

Foreign troops land in the country, a mile away from country's military academy, go into the hide out of OBL blasting doors, throwing grenades but we were not alarmed. Not even a single local policeman showed up on the scene. Then we are told that country's sovereignty is intact. Are n't we lucky that we are a nuclear power !!

krishna prasad
Jul 09, 2013 04:59pm

Do you remember "the ex-president - Gen. Musharraf denying the presence of the fugitive "OBL" on his soil and indicating that his sources said that he is in somewhere in AFPAK border always? Looks like a cat and mouse game to me with other countries.

Jul 09, 2013 05:40pm

@G.A.: Excellent recap of our "competent army".

Jul 09, 2013 05:51pm

If general Kiani a some dignity then he should resign.

Jul 09, 2013 06:01pm

@G.A.: and they sold this report to Al-Jazzira!

Jul 09, 2013 06:06pm

That's funny but not in a good way. So, you seriously think the world is so stupid to believe that the world's most wanted man was living less than a mile away from the 'premier' Pakistan Military Academy for 9 years because of 'incompetence' of Pakistan's authorities? You surely are living in a fool's paradise but unfortunately for Pakistan, the world is not.

Jul 09, 2013 06:23pm

I think everyone commenting here knows the Truth, whether it was incompetence or collusion. Was Dr Shakil Afridi called to give evidence before the Commission ? If not why not because he would have known a lot more than others know or claim to know.

Jul 09, 2013 06:27pm

Its a shame that the information we got from the report came from an external source. It was the duty of the Pakistan's govt to publish this report and made it a reachable to all fellow Pakistanis. This report could help to answer so many questions that we as Pakistanis have for our intelligence organizations.

Jul 09, 2013 07:04pm

@raja hindustani: A typical comment from a hindustani.

Jul 09, 2013 07:03pm

@sunil.....indian: Not really. I'm a Pakistani living in the US and am very proud of my homeland Pakistan. Nice try though.

Jul 09, 2013 07:04pm

@Gerry D'Cunha: Living in fools paradise, aren't we my friend.

Jul 09, 2013 07:08pm

Osama Bin Laden was already dead during or soon after the Tora Bora bombings. This operation was hoax as the US wanted to start negotiating with Taliban, because US domestic & international policy was WAR with anyone HARBORING alqaeda. So they needed to declare him dead. After few weeks of this operation the talk of talking with Taliban had started and now we see the office has been opened in Qatar. US needs desperately to build the TAPI pipeline and now they need to make Taliban as part of government, otherwise the money invested on "WAR ON TERROR" will go waste

Jul 09, 2013 07:34pm

@M. Siddique: dear , knowing too well then too , he did not resigned But asked for and was granted the 3rd extension in his already over due job of COAS , so human dignity or professional competence cum valor DID NOT Exist then , how can it even be there , when he is almost close to the end of his retirement loaded with perks and privileges one can only dream off , so you must be an alien from Mars when you suggested such step which is beyond the dignity of such self proclaimed guardians of the national interests .

Raj Patel
Jul 09, 2013 07:56pm

Are Pakistani people are happy on killing of Bin Laden or not ?. If you are happy then it doesn't matter who killed the guy. If you are unhappy then you should not complaint thet world is seeing Pakistan as a terrorist state. You decide.

Hasan Serhat DOGU
Jul 09, 2013 08:40pm

I know you will not publish it.Pakistan did double game with all over the world during Osama , hiding in Pakistan land many years. Who make Osma terrorist ofcourse USA, they use him during Afghan war and Pakistan participate with USA.Rulers of Pakistan and ISI should heads or head should interogate in this case.Pakistan ban Zero Dark Thirty movie in Pakistan but everybody can watch it thru internet. Pakistan should reorganise their institutes and constitution.

irfan baloch
Jul 09, 2013 09:09pm

@Imtiaz: very funny he has had much more humiliating chances but he didnt

Jul 09, 2013 09:46pm

Well, the cat is finally out of the bag as the commission has revealed the truth and thanks to Al Zazeera for making it public otherwise the report would have remained buried for many a decades by the powerful agencies. The complicity of the state agencies in hiding its priceless asset was a foregone conclusion but the commission putting the blame on state intelligence agencies is something unheard of in Pakstan for which they need to be congratulated. However, it remains to be seen whether Nawaz Sharif who is probably the most powerful PM in the history of Pakistan can take control of the foreign policy in his hands and save the country from such embarrassment in the future.

Jul 10, 2013 12:03am

Beggers are not choosers....

Jul 09, 2013 11:59pm

@saad: who cares about you... OBL is dead and thats what metters.

Jul 10, 2013 12:32am

What incompetency? Hats off to the institution for saving such a dreaded terrorist for nine years. When the whole world was searching for Osama, he was being given shelter near a military training center in the cantonment area. Had it not been a surprise attack by America, he would have been saved / rescued. What a professional shelter ground for terrorist! And you say Incompetency,negligence,dereliction and all kind of fancy words... Common accept and stop abetting terrorism and terrorist.

p r sharma
Jul 10, 2013 01:54am

@Hasan Hasni: Why the report be treated as confidential? The report prepared by the commission is bound I repeat bound to be tabled in the parliament. the then government decided not to publish it for obvious reasons. Now also the report has been deliberately with full knowledge of the PM has been leaked , with a pretension that it has been leaked / sold by some insider one for the sake of money.. The report is planted . Another move to try to fool the world that OBL was in Pakistan because of the incompetence of the government Agencies and not because of collaboration of security / spy Agencies . Another motive is to demean the security / Spy agencies to degrade their image in the domestic soil. this degradation will help NS to take out the foreign policy decisions from military to civil authorities.

p r sharma
Jul 10, 2013 01:58am

@saad: the whole world does not care about what you feel. fools can not be convinced

Jul 10, 2013 02:43am

I think because of this military humiliation , Pakistan had democratic election. Other wiseMarshall law and dictator in uniform was all set to go.

Jul 10, 2013 04:15am

@Imtiaz: Dignity? What a joke. Kayani's only success throughout his tenure was saving corrupt Aslam Beg from going to jail

Jul 10, 2013 04:28am

@G.A.: Why Kayani should not be tried for utter failure and or bringing such a shame for whole country? Where is Iftikhar Chaudhry and his Suo motto notices? These two have ruined this nation, they both should be held accountable

Jul 10, 2013 04:51am

@pramod : Not only Pakistanis do'nt belieive Osama is dead, some even say there is no Al-Qaeda and Bin Ladin, all imaginations of USA. Height of denial and belief in all kind of conspiracies. It is undesrstable as Pakistanis are not provided any proper information by Pakistani govt and its agencies, even East Pakistan report was not made public for long time.

Jul 10, 2013 05:24am

You can help a blind man. But - Can you one, who pretends to be blind?

Jul 10, 2013 06:11am

@saad: You can ask his wives who were captured in the raid, where the body of OBL is.

Shahid Mausd
Jul 10, 2013 09:51am

@krishna prasad: So true

Shahid Mausd
Jul 10, 2013 09:53am

@MJK: We are not lucky, we are stupid

Shahid Mausd
Jul 10, 2013 10:11am

@Shankar Bandyopadhay: There shouldn't be any doubt that a bankrupt country made billions of dollars by hiding OBL, while pretending to be with rest of the world in their war against terrorism.

Shahid Mausd
Jul 10, 2013 10:21am

@saad: Living in fools paradise.

Jul 10, 2013 12:06pm

@Imtiaz: Expectation of dignity from a Military General? Which Pakistan do you live in?

p r sharma
Jul 10, 2013 02:26pm

@saad: " If he was killed in Abbottabad where is his body, answer me this question and I will believe the whole story."

Mr. Saad Grey matter is required to understand the answer.

Javed Mir
Jul 10, 2013 05:09pm

--The US special troops, who had flown into Pakistan on board four helicopters undetected by PAF radars--

The whole situation seems to be inexplicable and unacceptable. This criminal recklessness has proved too much costly and and the credibility of the state has been at stake.

Ali S
Jul 10, 2013 11:35pm

So, the Pakistani authorities - who were supposed to be US allies and happily accepted billions in aid for it - lied through their teeth about the whole situation, were caught red-handed with their hand in the cookie jar, and their response is to puff their chests about how Pakistan's 'sovereignty' was violated. And still not an ounce of shame from the army or ISI to show for it. Then Pakistanis wonder why they are humiliated because of their green passport whenever they go abroad.

Instead of whining about 'sovereignty', we should be thankful that Obama didn't carpet bomb an entire block of Abbottabad (an option that was also on the cards, by the way) and instead chose a casualty-free surgical land operation (the highest risk option for the American commandos involved).

r.s soni
Jul 11, 2013 03:24pm

@BCG: i fully agree with you.. germany intelligence agency also does not agree with the report