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Pakistan alerted US about compound in 2009: Bashir

May 04, 2011

"This particular location was pointed out by our intelligence quite some time ago to the US intelligence," Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said. — File Photo

LONDON: Pakistan alerted the US to its suspicions about a compound where Osama bin Laden was found hiding as far back as 2009, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said on Wednesday.

Bashir also hit out at “disquieting” comments by CIA Director Leon Panetta that US officials had ruled out informing Islamabad in advance about Sunday's US raid on the Pakistani compound which led to the al Qaeda chief's death.

Asked in a BBC radio interview about the compound in Abbottabad where the al Qaeda chief was discovered, Bashir said: “This particular location was pointed out by our intelligence quite some time ago to the US intelligence.

“Of course they have a much more sophisticated equipment to evaluate and to assess.”

"We had indicated this compound as far back as 2009 as a possible place," Bashir added, although he added it was not known at the time bin Laden was hiding there and there were “millions” of other suspect locations.

On Panetta's comments, the Pakistani official said: “I know for sure that we have extended every cooperation to the US including the CIA as well as to other countries so far as the campaign against terror is concerned.

“In terms of success in what is called global anti-terror, Pakistan has played a pivotal role so it is a little disquieting when we hear comments like this.”

On the decision not to inform Pakistan about the raid, Panetta told Time magazine that “it was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardise the mission: They might alert the targets.”