As the White House fell silent after a series of mis-steps,
conflicting reports emerged about the killing of Osama bin Laden
with Pakistan admitting that its India focus led to its failure to
find the world's most wanted terrorist.
A US Navy SEAL team killed the Al Qaeda leader in a raid on his
hideout in Abbottabad, just 120 km from the Pakistani capital of
Islamabad, with rapid shots to his chest and forehead, CNN said
citing a US official who has seen military reports of the raid.
There were weapons near Osama, who died on an upper floor of the
compound toward the end of the nearly 40-minute raid, CNN cited
Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairperson of the Senate Intelligence
Committee as saying.
"He was right there and going to get those arms," she said
offering her explanation of what the White House called some form
of resistance offered by the unarmed Osama. "You really can't take
But what the administration initially said was an "intense
firefight" leading to the Al Qaeda leader's death, The New York
Times Thursday dubbed as an "extremely one-sided" attack.
The Times said Officials briefed on the operation indicate the
only bullets ever fired at the SEAL team came from Osama's trusted
courier -- the man who inadvertently led the US to the compound --
in the first minutes of the raid.
After that, once the SEALs entered the three-storey block-like
structure, they were never fired upon again.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama made it clear in an exclusive
interview with "60 Minutes" that the White House would not release
photos of Osama's body saying: "We don't trot out this stuff as
With Pakistan in the dock over its failure to find the world's
most wanted man hiding in plain sight near an elite military
academy, Islamabad's envoy to US Husain Haqqani blamed it on
neither complicity nor incompetence, but the intelligence
establishment's focus on India.
"The only other explanation is the focus of Pakistan's national
security strategy which has always been the perceived threat from
our eastern neighbour," he said on the Charlie Rose Show
"So it is possible people within our security establishment just
did not take trying to locate Osama bin Laden as seriously as they
should have," Haqqani admitted.
The envoy also suggested Pakistani fighter jets scrambled into the
skies early Monday after incursions of its airspace were detected,
thinking there was an attack from India.
"After all, we have always assumed that any area intrusion into
our sovereign territory will come from the east," he said. Asked
if he meant Afghanistan, Haqqani said: "No, from India."
Investigators, meanwhile, pored over the material gathered at
They include 10 hard drives, five computers and more than 100
storage devices, such as disks, DVDs and thumb drives, CNN said
citing a senior US official. The material might provide clues on
Al Qaeda members and plots for future attacks.
The commandos also recovered five cellphones, audio and video
equipment, paper documents and some five guns, including AK-47s
and pistols, a US official said.
"As we glean information from that material, we will make
appropriate decisions with regard to who might we add to the
terrorist watch list, the no-fly list, all those things," US
Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday.
(Arun Kumar can
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)