Report: Pakistani Mole May Have Helped CIA Spy on Bin Laden Compound

On Monday Al Jazeera published a full English version of a Pakistani report on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. One interesting aspect of the report is the suggestion that a retired Lt. Col. may have been spying on the compound prior to the raid.

Major Amir Aziz is someone who lived in the immediate vicinity of the compound where bin Laden was killed. On the night of the raid he saw helicopters landing at the site and heard gunshots coming from the site. Aziz informed his chain of command what was happening but did not leave his house to investigate more closely.

In a second statement to the so-called Abbottobad Commission, Major Aziz recalled that retired Lt. Col. Saeed Iqbal visited his home two or three times prior to the raid. He said he was interested in buying Major Aziz’s property, though the sale never happened.

During one visit, “Lt. Col. (Retd) Saeed Iqbal went on the rooftop of [Aziz’s] house and took photographs of his pets but [Aziz] did not know whether photographs of OBL compound were also taken.”

Aziz did note that Iqbal drove an expensive soundproofed and bullet proof car. He also had an expensive digital camera. The Pakistani report notes these are items which “a retired Colonel cannot afford by any stretch of imagination.”

In addition, Major Aziz told the commission that Lt. Col. Iqbal was the father of a “private secretary” to President Pervez Musharraf.

In an analysis section of the report immediately following these revelations the authors write “Major Aziz’s remarks about Lt. Col. Saeed Iqbal are potentially significant as they could reveal about CIA network in Pakistan.” However the ISI investigated and concluded neither Aziz nor Iqbal were involved in planning the raid. The authors of the commission report note “This conclusion is somewhat strange as Saeed Iqbal left Pakistan immediately after the incident and attempted to sell his properties.”