Leaked Pakistani Report Reveals Life--and Death--of bin Laden
Al Jazeera has obtained the full text of the secret report of Pakistan's Abbottabad Commission, which investigated how Osama bin Laden was able to hide in the country for nearly a decade--and how Pakistan's defense forces had failed to detect or prevent the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that ended in his death on May 2, 2011.
Portions of the report had been leaked before--those dealing, for example, with jailed Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who helped the U.S. verify bin Laden's location--but never the full 336-page document in its entirety.
Among other details, the report reveals that bin Laden had been in a car that was stopped by Pakistani police for speeding, and that he was able to father four children while on the run from an international manhunt.
The report also provides a Pakistani version of the raid, noting that Pakistani military radar had been on "peacetime deployment" and had therefore failed to detect the two incoming helicopters, one of which crash-landed ten minutes after the raid began. It notes that bin Laden was alerted to the sound of the Navy SEALs and attempted to spot them from his balcony, but could not see well enough on a moonless night.
Soon enough, according to the report, bin Laden realized what was happening. The report indicates that he reached for a weapon--a point of contention in U.S. versions of the raid--and that he was shot in the forehead, but only after one of his wives had thrown herself at a Navy SEAL and been shot herself in the knee.
The report calls Pakistan's failure to stop the raid a "collective failure," noting that one of the first to arrive on the scene was a local policeman, and that President Asif Ali Zardari was among the last to know what was going on.
The report concludes that the raid was a "national disgrace," the results of "systemic problems" that were the fault of "individuals who wielded larger nationwide authority and power." The report declines to name names--"it is obvious who they are," it says--but demands that they issue "a formal apology to the nation for their dereliction of duty."