Osama's 12-year-old daughter saw dad being shot dead

2011-05-04
THE PUNCH Newspaper- Pakistan intelligence

A teenage daughter of the founder and leader of al-Qaeda terrorist group has told Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the ISI, that she saw her father, Osama bin Laden, shot dead by the United States special force, the Navy SEALs.



A top ISI official made this known just as indications emerged on Tuesday that the US might release photographs of the burial of the slain world most wanted man in a weighted body bag at the Arabian Sea.



The official, who described ISI’s failures to detect bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan’s territory as embarrassment, said the girl whose name he did not give was aged between 12 and 13 years.



He added that she was one of the 10 or 11 people that survived the raid on the $1m mansion in Abbottabad where bin Laden lived before his waterloo.



The official put the total number of persons in the compound before the attack at 17 or 18 people, saying the Navy SEALs’ members took away one of them, possibly a bin Laden son, away.



The survivors, according to him, included a Yemeni woman believed to be the late terrorist’s wife.



He added that their hands were tied by the Americans, who initially wanted to take them away but could not when one of three helicopters they used for the operation malfunctioned.



The surviving Yemeni wife of bin Laden, he added told the ISI that they had moved into the compound a few months ago.



There had been reports that one of bin Laden’s son, Khalid; his trusted personal courier, Sheikh Abu Ahmed; and the courier’s brother were all killed, along with an unidentified woman in the raid on Sunday.



Washington has not commented on anyone it captured or had planned to capture, other than saying bin Laden bad been killed and his copse buried.



Admitting that the ISI failed in detecting bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, the official explained that the $1m compound “was not on our radar” since 2003 when it was first raided while under construction.



“We’re good, but we’re not God,” he told the British Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday in Islamabad, adding that the ISI recovered some documents from the compound.



The US Central Intelligence Agency is already said to be going through a large number of hard drives and storage devices seized in the raid.



White House counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, had said that there were concerns that Pakistani forces could counter the Navy SEALs team while it was conducting the raid.



But the ISI official said, “We were totally caught by surprise. They were in and out before we could react.”



The BBC said that residents near the compound had claimed that Pakistani soldiers had asked them (residents) to switch off their lights an hour before the attack.



Earlier, in an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari admitted bin Laden “was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be.”



But he denied the killing of bin Laden in Pakistan suggested that his government was failing in its efforts to tackle terrorism.



Mr. Zardari said Pakistan had “never been and never will be the hotbed of fanaticism that is often described by the media.”



“Pakistan had as much reason to despise al-Qaeda as any nation. The war on terrorism is as much Pakistan’s war as it is America’s,” he added.



There were, however, reports on Tuesday that Washington might soon release photographs of bin Laden’s burial.



Reuters reported that the administration of Barack Obama has been weighing whether to make public photographs of terrorists corpse as proof that he had been killed or not.



Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, confirmed that Washington was weighing the pros and cons of releasing photographic evidence.



He said, “There is not a question at this point I think in anybody’s mind that bin Laden is dead, and so I know there are some people who are interested in having that visual proof.



“This is something we are taking into account. But what we don’t want to do is to release anything that might be either misunderstood or that would cause other problems.



“We’re looking at these issues and we’ll make the right decisions.”



The US military had argued earlier that releasing photographs of the burial at sea could be less controversial than images of bin Laden’s corpse.



Still, some analysts warned that objections from some Muslim clerics to the sea burial could stoke anti-American sentiment.



The clerics questioned whether the White House followed proper Islamic tradition, saying Muslims should not be buried at sea unless they died during a voyage.

 

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