The United States chose not to inform Pakistan about its covert raid on Osama Bin Laden’s hideout as it feared that Pakistani officials would alert the targets, the director of the CIA said on Wednesday.
CIA Director Leon Panetta said Washington would be pressing Islamabad for answers as to why it was unable to track down the late al Qaeda leader, when he was living just metres from a military base.
“We made the decision that we will not inform them, we will conduct this operation unilaterally on the part of the United States. They need to respond to the questions about why they did not know that that compound existed,” Panetta said.
Residents of Abbottabad, the town when bin Laden was hiding, are also questioning how the security services were unaware of his presence.
One local businessman said: “Even a man who had just killed one person would have been tracked down here. How can it be that a man who killed so many more could stay in hiding?”
But Pakistan’s foreign minister dismissed American claims that his country has failed to cooperate on tackling terror.
Salman Bashir said the Americans were alerted about bin Laden’s compound two years ago and called their mistrust of Pakistani security forces “misplaced.”