We got him in Pakistan

It took 10 years but the chief terrorist got his due. Osama Bin Laden confirmed killed. And apparently by a special forces bullet and not a drone.

The President of the United States made the announcement tonight himself. He was found in “a compound” in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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I am wondering if this article is related:

ABBOTTABAD: Three loud blasts were heard near the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul Road late Sunday night and a military helicopter also crashed. Sources told Geo News that heavy firing was heard in the area before the chopper crashed.

Windowpanes of the nearby buildings and houses were smashed due to the intensity of the blasts, the sources said. Eyewitnesses said first sound of heavy firing was heard and then there was a huge blast. Fire erupted at the scene of the occurrence and according to latest reports police and fire brigade teams were rushing towards the blast scene. Security forces cordoned off the entire area and military helicopters were also hovering over the area. [Link]

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p>The helicopter cited above is rumored to have been a Pakistani one is now known to have been a Special Forces helicopter that had mechanical problems. I will update this post tonight with the latest.

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p>Update 1: Here is an intriguing article from two weeks ago about a possible Indonesian terrorist found in Abbottabad earlier this year:

Abdul Hameed in Northwest Pakistan’s hill town of Abottabad would have never imagined that his act of kindness, of giving a foreign couple food and shelter for a few days would blow up in his face.

He had come across a foreign couple, cold and shivering in the street, and could he give them food and shelter for a few days?

Hameed had spare rooms on the second-floor that he occasionally let out since his older children had left home…

The run of good luck had ended for Umar Patek, an al-Qaida-linked Indonesian militant who for 10 years had been on the run from a 1 million US dollar bounty on his head, for allegedly helping build the bombs used in the 2002 bombings of nightclubs in Bali that killed 202 people. [Link]

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Update 2: Wow! Check out this article I dug up from just a week ago:

Pakistan’s army chief said Saturday his forces had “broken the back” of Islamist militants after the United States criticised the country’s efforts to quell Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked rebels.

“The terrorists’ backbone has been broken and God willing we will soon prevail,” General Ashfaq Kayani said in a speech at a passing-out parade at the Pakistan Military Academy in northwestern garrison town of Abbottabad. The White House this month criticised Pakistan’s efforts to defeat the Taliban in its border regions, in a report immediately rejected by Islamabad. [Link]

If this article is correct then Bin Laden was staying within a couple of miles of Kayani’s speech!

Update 3 (12:31a.m. EST): The Atlantic suspects they know which compound. I’d take it with a grain of salt for now.

Update 4 (1:32a.m. EST): This is likely going to come down to two brothers that were couriers. The CIA were set up on them for a long time.

109 thoughts on “We got him in Pakistan

  1. I see that the president gave the necessary fig leaf of Pakistani cooperation. When the most wanted man in the world is killed near your capitol – you got a lot of explaining to do.

  2. OK – Abbottabad is not exactly next door to Islamabad, but if a bunch of gangsters are in Atlantic City, the FBI in NY can’t say they can’t find them.

  3. I cheered when India started growing at 8% GDP. I cheered a little louder when we won the World’s Cup in Cricket a few weeks ago. However, my voice is now an ultra-sonic hiss hoarse sound due to all the cheering I’m doing now that that terrorist is dead. I must have popped a couple of veins just now, so if any of you desis know of a good popped-vein rectifying docs, please let me know. According to an analyst, even Pakistan deserved a lot of credit for today’s events.

    Congratulations, USA! Osama Margay Hai Mubarak!

  4. “According to an analyst, even Pakistan deserved a lot of credit for today’s events.”

    ABC News reports from its military contacts that no Pakistanis were involved in the raid, which reinforces my opinion that Obama is just giving them cover, which is understandable. But it sure would be nice for us to stop pretending that Pakistan was “doing all it can” in getting bin Laden.

    I’m as giddy as a school-boy.

    • Perfect timing: Democratic reforms in Arabic lands and now this! This feels like the Berlin Wall has fallen again.

      At this point, let’s not be pessimistic on Pakistan’s contributions in the killing of Bin Laden.

      I agree with you, Melvin! Doosera Term Mubarak!

  5. Best news I’ve heard in a while! :)

    And holy moly, can’t believe he was in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this whole time! woww

  6. “If this article is correct then Bin Laden was staying within a couple of miles of Kayani’s speech!”

    That would mean that Obama just gave a middle finger to Kayani – “Yeah, you’re looking for him real hard, aren’t you?”

  7. Maybe I’m geographically challenged, but how exactly can it be said that abbottabad is close to the border with afghanistan? It’s about as far from the afghan border as any other place within Pakistan. It actually looks closer to the disputed border w/ India than Afghanistan… Could someone w/ a context for Pakistan geography help explain where he was found, and whether it is considered to “border” afghanistan? After all, the story’s been that he’s been going back and forth between the border regions of afghanistan and pakistan.

  8. All along Indian intelligence were saying that Osama is in Pakistan – protected by none other than former PM Musharraf and no one believed that. I ‘d say good riddance. Now let’s move on to few other targets. If we Americans can kill someone located just 35 miles from Pakistan’s capital, imagine what we can do from a distant cruise missile – if we have reliable coordinates. Good news.

  9. i hope all directly effected, people who have family killed from attacks, people who have family or friends serving, find some Peace because of this news. 10 years and too many lives lost along the way. Heavy price for Justice.

  10. Thanks Alina, But the terms you normally hear thrown about are “Northwest Frontier Provinces” and “Waziristan”… Is abbottabad in one of these provinces, or is relatively far away… The pictures on Wikipedia make it look like it’s on a plain/in the foothills of the mountains as opposed to being in a rugged, mountainous region… I wonder whether the analogy would be thinking he’s in the rockies, and actually finding him in Kansas.

    Ram

  11. @Ram: “North West Frontier Province” was the official name for the region now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in which Abottabad is located. Waziristan refers to a different region, bordering Afghanistan, further to the West (maybe that is where they suspected he was years ago?) You’re right that it’s not a mountainous region…on Wiki they describe it as a valley between hills.

  12. Congrats All !!! There will be a backlash. Lets see what form that takes.

  13. my facebook status (i’m a Brit-Pak in case u didn’t know that already)

    Today I am very glad to like all statuses celebrating the demise of the one of the greatest criminals of the 21st century. Congratulations to the United States and President Obama, who has hopefully secured his reelection. Methinks the Pakistanis never really wanted to help hence their total black-out and bypass by the Americans? 35 miles north of ISB in a compoudn 8x larger than the neighbourhood, ISI c’mon!!!!!

    http://www.brownpundits.com/2011/05/02/obls-is-dead-let-the-world-rejoice/

  14. my facebook note, which is obviously going to generating alot of controversy but after reading like the 5th cynical status I’d had enough and I’m a huge advocate for Islam expressed in a liberal context.

    Why aren’t the Muzzers joining in the celebrations by Zachary Latif on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 12:20pm http://www.brownpundits.com/2011/05/02/why-arent-the-muzzers-joining-in-the-celebrations/

    If any day deserves a public holiday it should be today and mind you I say this as a staunch Monarchist.

    A criminal mastermind who held the world hostage has been killed by a hero (yes President Obama is a hero).

    All the Muzzer statuses on my facebook are unequivocal as always. I’m sick and tired of this self-defeating, carping and negative attitude. I’m just glad that the US has shown that when it comes to it; it’s not going to give any space or time for Muslim attitudes, which are counter-productive and frankly p!ss poor. If you want to stay in a medieval society that is your prerogative don’t go imposing it on the rest of the us. The Muslim diaspora refused to join in the Royal Celebration (even though demonstrating patriotism might have been a good idea for a secretly hated minority, which frankly the majority have a very good reason for) now it’s not even joining in for what should be a Global Celebration; the death of a very evil man. Come on guys organise some street parties and give out some “mithai”. Now’s the time to prove you are with Team America!

    • Global celebration? women and three children have been killed in a attack in the north west of pakistan. there are still men and women fighting in Afghanistan. the man is dead not the idea

  15. I have put up diaries on political sites on how stupid the Iraq war was. One of the big reasons other than the WMD exagerration, was the fact that Iraq supposedly had something to do with Islamic terorrism. We were told that practicality and cost benefit analysis shouldnt be an issue when it comes to iraq because our freedom is at stake. It didn’t matter that we bankrupted our treasury with an inefficient costly war(money, lives, opportunity costs).

    I wondered why our politicians of both parties have been blind about Pakistan. So we can’t use realism to avoid a costly war in Iraq, yet practiciality means we actually ally with the very country(Pakistan) that has directly harbored terrorists, not only against its neighbors but western interests too? This is why I was mad at the Democrats for not using logic to illustrate to the voting public how stupid the neocons strategy was in the early 2000s. Every time Pakistan would supposedly help us take out an AL Quaeda #2 leader, I would wonder, how many freaking #2 leaders are there?

    Now the US government has belated realized what some of knew all along. Do everything on your own and throw Pakistan a bone now and then pretending to trust them. The Osama operation involved no cooperation with the Pakistanis lest they tip off Osama.

    Also, doesnt such an operation actually show that targeted assassins are more humane and cost efficient to the world than full scale wars?

  16. Zachary, I am confused by the monarchist and muzzer tags. I know what monarchist means. But in what context are you talking about it? And what does muzzer mean for those of us who are not familiar with such a term?

  17. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Muzzer An Asian Person who is Muslim. Or a person of Asian origins who is of the Islam race, short for Muslim.

    I don’t know why the dictionary put “Islam race”.

    As for Muzzer and monarchist; alot of the Muslims on my facebook feed (I am in London) were criticising the British Monarchy, which is fairly well-loved (if apathetically) by mainstream Britain. I don’t know what the American equivalent would be but there is a correlation between Muslim antipathy to the Monarchy and a whole host of other negative attitudes.

    Anyway another status update, which sums up this week perfectily. “Yup, the Girl married her Prince. The bad guy is dead. Its a proper Disney week here on earth. ;)

    Also please remember (Razib can also attest) I’m not “anti-Muslim” instead I’ve been an apologist for nearly a decade. Its just I’ve had enough of British Muslims justifying heinous acts like Saddam, Qaddafi etc but at the same time drag the US. I’m having a facebook argument at the moment with two people about how the “US killed more people than Qaddafi and OBL”. I’m shocked by these medieval attitudes and bare-faced justifications and these are people based in the West!

  18. Thanks Zachary.

    I do wish they caught him alive so we could humiliate the idiot. The guy died so fast that he probably did not suffer one bit.

  19. Apparently it was a Pakistani soldier that shot the bullet in OBL’s head.

  20. first, congratulations to the Nay Seals who went in and got rid of this ugly thug. This was a person who gloried in the murder of 1000s of people. Good riddance and good for our govt that stayed focused on this.

    Second, and no surprises here, of course, he was living in pakistan. And naturally within 60 miles of islamabad! Five years ago I had made a bet with a friend (forturnately only $10) that he was ibased in Karachi.

    I am not surprised but the sad thing is a lot of our “analysts” and “experts” are. I mean where do we get these people – who apparently dont need to speak Urdu/Pushto or have any acquaintance with the region?

  21. Apologies my keyboard is slowing down so I’m typing over a few letters. apols

  22. The cost calculus of Afghan surge just changed. Not sure, if this would be possible without the flood of agents crawling all over that area.

  23. Osama dead? George W. must be sad–old family friend. Still, murdering him makes one of those Kodak moments, like pulling down the status of Sadam Hussein, or bombing “enemies” that is supposed to ensure the incumbent (W, Obama, Reagan, whoever) another term, for some reason. If anybody deserves accolades or shame it’s the ones who did the deed. Not some high-level bureaucrat (whether he’s called president or prime minister, or el duce) sitting safe in some office pretending to be one phone call from god. Like someone already said, except for F5 tornados sending hundreds into oblivion, it’s a Disney sort of week.

  24. Of course there are compelling reasons why Pakistan cannot come out completely in open support of America (or admit it killed OBL), but I doubt this alternative storyline for a different reason. As the Salman Taseer killing shows, there’s ground support for the extreme elements. What I’m trying to say is I would lend more credibility to a story that said the top brass in Pak were involved in taking OBL out, as compared to a lowly soldier, because orders from the top don’t always find ideological buyers lower down the chain.

    All that said, I’m curious about various eye witness accounts, like Athar who liveblogged the whole thing without knowing what was going on. It’s harder to fake something like this than when international spin machines kick into action.

  25. I don’t buy the line that Pakistan is downplaying their involvement. All leaks point to them being kept in the dark. Also, he was found in a cantonment area, which suggests a safe house, and that’s the last thing the ISI would want the world to see. So this was definitely a surprise for them. Which means the US has cracked the ISI, or has found ways of bypassing its intelligence infrastructure. This is really bad news for Pakistan, because now the militants won’t trust the ISI. And that means mayhem. I would also expect other pins to fall in the next coming months — Zawihiri, Kashmiri, Omar, maybe even Dawood. This is the beginning of the big dismantling.

  26. Surprise, surprise….. The old bast*@d found in PAKISTAN…

    Indian relatives in India said practically anyone with half a brain in India knew the piece of garbage was being protected in Pakistan. How did Pakistani intelligence not know the whereabouts of bin laden? Or were they scared to reveal what they knew? Were the Pakistanis threatened by alqueda thugs if they blew the whistle? Lots of politics must be involved. Bush was friends with some members of the bin laden family. There are like a million people in the bin laden family I understand and not everyone knows or likes each other I guess. Just like any big family I suppose.

    Interesting how the US media doesn’t go for gory goriness. (Not talking about whiteness like the Hindi word for white here). I don’t have much “fascination for the abomination” to paraphrase the old Brit Lit author Joseph Conrad either. But the Hindustan Times website pictured the carcass of the terrorist on their web page. I don’t know if it’s still up or changed or whatever. The press/journalists outside the US tend to reveal more than what most would care to see.

    Whether or not you like Obama, you have to credit the Commander in Chief in this case. He gave the approval for this action. Personally, I think Obama is very patriotic and a true leader. But if you listened to his address last night, he never brags or takes credit. Suck on that Donald Chump. Does anyone else smell landslide in 2012??? As in, we fried bin laden beotches…

    Yo Dad, do you think Musharaff has some explaining to do now? This ought to be interesting.

    • General Parvez Musharraf is a mean SOB and he was the mastermind in protecting OBL and at the same time keep mikking US for as mush dough as possible. There were rumors that OBL was for a long time housed and protected by Musharraf in a Five * hotel in Karachi. According to some sources the General is still trying to come back and overthrow Zardari. Now it’s all over. The Pakistani bluff has been called and I salute to US Navy seals for coming through and finish the job. What India needs to do now is have some guts and send specially trained people in Karachi and get the most wanted man in India – Dawood Ibrahim. That SOB is shuttling between Dubai and Karachi and no one knows – on a given night – where he sleeps! USA should go next after Ilias Kashmiri, who may have more potential than Al-Zawahiri. My 2 Cents.

  27. If Pakistan is as “duplicitous” as is being demonstrated in these comments America wouldn’t allow it to endure. Pakistan’s GHQ has always understood there is one patron that matters the US & then China.

    “Army had cordoned off three kilometer road with barbed wires and on Monday morning only schoolchildren and government employees were allowed to go outside of their homes for duties”, said Anwar Shah, a police officer.

    How could Pakistan not be involved but garrison Abbotabad beforehand?

  28. @Zachary Latif: I really doubt the authenticity of the “Pak soldiers did it” argument. First of all, the helicopter attack started after 1 am local time and it is well known that Pakistani military, not unlike most of the third world, does not have technological capabilities to conduct operations in zero visibility conditions. This has all the hallmarks of a US Special Ops operation. The Pakistanis didn’t have a clue whatsoever. And if they did, OBL, would have conveniently “escaped” at the eleventh hour. Pakistani ISI has a history of spinning tales like this to make them look more competent than they ever could hope to be. The spin reminds me of Trump taking credit for Obama’s Long Form birth certificate.

  29. What conspiracy theories Pakistanis come up with now will be an interesting and amusing thing to look forward to.

  30. Given that a Pakistani military academy is not too far from the compound, any “preparations” Pakistan took before the raid were more likely related to activities at the Academy. But, once the raid took place, they decided to say that it was actually in preparation for the raid – cause that is how the Navy SEALs roll – they let everyone know seven days before they are coming to town.

  31. @Zachary Latif: ““Army had cordoned off three kilometer road with barbed wires and on Monday morning only schoolchildren and government employees were allowed to go outside of their homes for duties”, said Anwar Shah, a police officer.”

    The cordoning off by locals might have been after the mission was accomplished by Team Six (US NAVY SEALS). I highly doubt Pakistani involvement in the active part of this operation in any shape or form. The fact that this happened right next door to their version of West Point makes them look complicit if not utterly incompetent. There are other lesser known terrorists hosted by Pakistan like Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon to name a few. People like these are feted and held in very high regard by the population at large as well as the ISI.

  32. Why the U.S. Acted Alone http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-02/osama-bin-laden-dead-his-pakistan-protectors/?cid=hp:mainpromo6

    “But for its own geopolitical—and purely political—reasons Pakistan is likely to continue being as much part of the problem as part of the solution. At least after the Abbottabad shootout, it’s clear the administration isn’t kidding itself. When it got a shot at Bin Laden, it took it. No dithering. No dilatory diplomacy. Secrecy was maintained. The Pakistanis were cut out. And justice was done.”

  33. And that means mayhem. I would also expect other pins to fall in the next coming months — Zawihiri, Kashmiri, Omar, maybe even Dawood. This is the beginning of the big dismantling.

    I disagree.

    The Pakistanis found that Osama cost them too much. The Americans were always in Pakistan, always mounting drone attacks, always hampering the ISI, forcing the scaling back of anti-India activities, … It just became cheaper for the Pakistanis to sell Osama out. Soon the Americans will be gone. As far as Kashmir and Dawood are concerned, it will be business as usual.

  34. Sooner or later, the Pakistani spin-doctors, conspiracy theorists (i.e. most journalists and all of the masses), and feudal lords will somehow link Mossad and India’s RAW. Moreover, the Pakistanis will try to take credit for OBL’s assassination AND blame the Indians/Israelis at the same time. We already see a pretty well-balanced, moderate, and intellectual contributor here claiming that Pakistan contributed significantly to OBL’s assassination. My friends, it is so apparent to us all that Pakistan was only a hindrance in this entire global war on terror. The proof is that the USA never notified Pakistan about their intentions. I’m 100% sure that if the Pakistanis knew – whether it was Kayani, Zardari, Musharaff, etc. – that information would have been leaked, and OBL would be back in his other home. As individuals, Pakistanis are a remarkable and talented people full of good ethic, but at their national level, their government is amongst the most under-developed people on earth, and this is humiliating and tarnishing the Pakistani’s image.

    Very soon, Zawari will die. We have confiscated OBL’s computer. We’re going to know his Facebook avatar and discover that he “likes” Musharaff’s status updates. More doom and gloom will happen in Pakistan. I have absolutely no optimism for this country in the near future, but I’m convinced that the people have a lot of human capital and talent. They can overcome absolutely any challenge that you give them. But this time, they are going to have to reach deep down inside to overcome this cancer of existence that they are in, and at the same time, brace themselves for a few decades of dark and dreary times.

    Great job, Pannetta and Obama ’12. Obama: You and Mitt Romney debated in ’08, and he heckled you for “wanting to engage dialog with our enemies (Iran) and bomb our friends (Pakistan).” This is EXACTLY what you did, and I thank you for it.

  35. The Pakistanis found that Osama cost them too much. The Americans were always in Pakistan, always mounting drone attacks, always hampering the ISI, forcing the scaling back of anti-India activities, … It just became cheaper for the Pakistanis to sell Osama out. Soon the Americans will be gone. As far as Kashmir and Dawood are concerned, it will be business as usual.

    Plausible, but the cost of selling out is too high, and that too in the location where he was killed. They would’ve at least moved him somewhere else.

    Even if this is a sellout, the effect on militants is the same — they will not trust the ISI. So maybe Dawood would still be around, but Pakistan will burn.

  36. THANK GOD THAT BASTARD HAS BEEN KILLED! The Pakistani government and military need to pay for this one. They obviously knew where he was, there is a military training academy is Abbottabad. There is no way that a relatively new (5 year old) compound could have been built, costing around 1 million according to MSNBC, without the Pak military or government knowing.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/05/02/bin.laden.abbottabad/

  37. All the Muzzer statuses on my facebook are unequivocal as always. I’m sick and tired of this self-defeating, carping and negative attitude. I’m just glad that the US has shown that when it comes to it; it’s not going to give any space or time for Muslim attitudes, which are counter-productive and frankly p!ss poor. If you want to stay in a medieval society that is your prerogative don’t go imposing it on the rest of the us.

    Amen brothuh :P And I can’t help but notice it’s specifically British Muslims who seem to harbor this attitude; I don’t notice it with American Muslims, except for maybe a small fundy minority. I don’t think what you said applies for most Muslims (or most Pakis). My great-aunt in Peshawar called my family right before Obama made his speech yesterday to gush about how happy she was, and people over there seem excited too.

    What annoys me more is all the obnoxious conspiracy theorists; already the internet is chock full of all the nutters exclaiming about how all the sheeple will believe anything they’re told and they don’t believe the DNA testing was real and they want to see the body as evidence blahblah….

    It does make me wonder though; what will they do with the body? Surely not return it to his family, since Islam dictates it be buried with 2 days of death anyhow. Probably the same thing they did with Hitler; burn it and bury it anonymously to avoid it becoming a shrine.

    • Alina he’s been buried at sea with Islamic rites.

      Yes Brit-Muslims are a “special” breed. hehe

  38. Seriously, if Pakistan is anything like its South Asian neighbors, constructing a house that big would requires dozens of workers, bribes for permits, delays, etc. – for ordinary people. For the most wanted man in the world, whose capture would end the flow of funds from the U.S., you have to have friends in high places to build something that big and have no one ask questions.

    Like others have stated, I am really annoyed by the conspiracy theories. First it was the truthers, then the birthers, what are we going to call this bunch?

    • “First it was the truthers, then the birthers, what are we going to call this bunch?”

      Call them bat shi** dumb**es really. Or “deathers”??? Corpsers? More like losers? Really can’t think of a good name for the conspiracy crazed crowd.

      I can see Palin, teabaggers, some rethugs, and Donald Trump asking for a long form death certificate for that rubbish bin laden.

  39. What was Bin Laden doing in a mansion in a large city?  We were led to believe that he was hiding in some cave in Afghanistan.  People on this forum are really pulling their punches with Pakistan. Pakistan was in collusion with Bin Laden all along. This was some game being played with the US, and now the game is up. 
    
  40. There is no way the Pakistanis had a clue about this action. If they knew, they would have immediately moved him. Osama is the trump card that they can use to extract money from the US while pretending to help it.

  41. As much as I dont like right wingers, and there are some batshit crazy ones out there (just look at freerepublic readers response that Obama is the next one to go after Osama because both are enemies of our country), I think there should have been more transparency with the body’s disposal. The way it was one is in an invitation to wild speculation.

  42. I can see Palin, teabaggers, some rethugs, and Donald Trump asking for a long form death certificate for that rubbish bin laden.

    Haha stop thinking logically – you have to think about it from a conspiracy theorists point of view: the government claimed he was dead, they did the DNA testing, they would issue the death certificate, etc….these folks won’t be happy til they see BinLaden’s head on a pike outside the Oval Office…and even then they would claim it’s just some random Arab guy…I promise that no matter what happens, there will always be a handful of conspiracy theorists with elaborate theories about what “really” happened and there is no sense in arguing with them.

    “But for its own geopolitical—and purely political—reasons Pakistan is likely to continue being as much part of the problem as part of the solution. At least after the Abbottabad shootout, it’s clear the administration isn’t kidding itself. When it got a shot at Bin Laden, it took it. No dithering. No dilatory diplomacy. Secrecy was maintained. The Pakistanis were cut out. And justice was done.”

    I have to agree with this