The men who executed Bin Laden did not act on their own: they were following orders from the US Government. They had gone through a rigorous selection process and were trained to accomplish special missions. It is known that the US President can even communicate with a soldier in combat.
A few hours after accomplishing that mission in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, home to the most prestigious military academy of that country as well as important combat units, the White House offered the world’s public opinion a carefully drafted version about the death of Osama Bin Laden, the chief of Al Qaeda.
Of course, the world and the international media focused their attention on the issue, thus pushing all other public news into the background.
The US TV networks broadcast the President’s carefully drafted speech and showed images of the public’s reaction.
It was obvious that the world realized how sensitive the matter was. Pakistan is a country of 171 841 000 inhabitants –where the US and NATO have been carrying out a devastating war for ten years now- that has nuclear weapons and is a traditional ally of the United States.
There is no doubt that this Muslim country can not agree with the bloody war that the United States and its allies are waging against Afghanistan, another Muslim country with which it shares the troublesome and mountainous border traced by the British colonial empire. Common tribes live on both sides of the demarcation line.
The American press itself understood that the President was concealing almost the entire information.
The western news agencies –ANSA, AFP, AP, REUTERS and EFE- the press and important websites have published interesting reports about the incident.
The New York Times asserts that facts differed greatly from the official version announced on Tuesday by the White House and top intelligence officials, according to which Bin Laden’s death –who they finally recognized was unarmed, although they said he ‘resisted’- had occurred in the middle of an intense gun battle.
But, according to the New York daily, “the raid, though chaotic and bloody, was extremely one-sided, with a force of more than 20 Navy SEAL members quickly dispatching the handful of men protecting Bin Laden.”
The New York Times states that “the only shots fired by those in the compound came at the beginning of the operation, exactly when Bin Laden’s trusted courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, opened fire from behind the door of the guesthouse adjacent to the house where Bin Laden was hiding.”
“After the SEAL members shot and killed Mr. Kuwaiti and a woman in the guesthouse, the Americans were never fired upon again”, the newspaper states based on reports from said sources, whose identity was not revealed….
On Tuesday, the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, in an account of events, had asserted that in the early hours of Monday morning, the US commando “were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation.”
Leon E. Panetta, the director of the C.I.A., said, “there were some firefights that were going on” as these US elite military were clearing the upper floors of the residential compound where Bin Laden was hiding.
However, the newspaper asserts that, although Bin Laden had not raised any weapon when he was gunned down, the commandos that found him in one of the rooms “saw Osama bin Laden with an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol in arm’s reach.”
Today, May 6, news continue to pour in.
From Washington, one of the agencies reports that a sole gunman had shot against the US forces. It continues to report that, on Sunday evening, “several helicopters ferry 79 commandos towards Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, north of Islamabad, flying low to avoid detection by radar, as Pakistan has not been told of the raid in advance.
“Two helicopters deliver more than 20 US Navy SEALs to the residence, which has four-to-six meter walls covered with barbed wire. One of the choppers, a MH-60 Blackhawk apparently modified to evade radar, is out of commission due to “mechanical failure,” according to initial reports from US officials.
“One group of commandos moves toward a smaller guest house next to the compound’s main building. Bin Laden’s trusted courier opens fire and is shot and killed, along with his wife.
The courier is the only man at the compound who fires on the Americans, contrary to earlier accounts from the White House that described a firefight throughout the nearly 40-minute operation.
“…Another US special forces team enters the main three-story house.”
“… They encounter the courier’s brother…who was shot and killed”, according to a US official who offered no further details. According to NBC news, the man “has one hand behind his back” when the team entered the room, “causing the SEALs to suspect he may have a gun, which turns out not to be the case.
“The commandos move up the stairs and in one of the rooms meet up with Bin Laden’s adult son, Khalid, who is also killed…”
“On the top floor, they find Bin Laden and his wife in the bedroom. She reportedly tries to move between her husband and the commandos, and is shot in the leg. Bin Laden, who gives no signal of surrender, is shot in the head, and some media say he is also struck in the chest. Earlier versions of the raid said Bin Laden “resisted” and that he had used his wife as a human shield, but the White House later acknowledges those details are incorrect.
“President Barack Obama, following events from the White House, is told the SEALs have tentatively identified Bin Laden. A Time magazine report, based on an interview with CIA Director Leon Panetta, suggests Bin Laden was killed less than 25 minutes into the raid.
-“In Bin Laden’s room, the US team finds an AK-47 assault rifle and a 9 mm Russian pistol. Other weapons are discovered in the compound, but no further details are given.
“The special forces find cash and telephone numbers sown into Bin Laden’s clothing…”
“The Navy SEALs hauled away everything that could offer a lead to further information: note pads, the five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 storage devices (CDs, DVDs, USB).
“…The U.S. team destroys the downed helicopter after moving the women and children in the compound to a safe area.
“…Thirty eight minutes after the start of the raid, U.S. helicopters fly away, carrying away the corpse of Bin Laden.”
The AP published information of political and also human interest:
“One of three wives living with Osama Bin Laden told Pakistani interrogators she had been staying in the Al-Qaeda chief’s hideout for five years, and could be a key source of information about how he avoided capture for so long, a Pakistani intelligence official said Friday.”
“Bin Laden’s wife, identified as Yemeni-born Amal Ahmed Abdullfattah, said she never left the upper floors of the house the entire time she was there.
“She and Bin Laden’s other two wives are being interrogated in Pakistan after they were taken into custody following Monday’s American raid on Bin Laden’s compound in the town of Abbottabad. Pakistani authorities are also holding eight or nine children who were found there after the U.S. commandos left.
“Given shifting and incomplete accounts from U.S. officials about what happened during the raid, testimony from Bin Laden’s wives may be significant in unveiling details about the operation.
“Their accounts could also help show how Bin Laden spent his time and managed to stay hidden, living in a large house close to a military academy in a garrison town, a two-and-a-half hours’ drive from the capital, Islamabad.
“The Pakistani official said CIA officers had not been given access to the women in custody.”
“The proximity of Bin Laden’s hideout to the military garrison and the Pakistani capital has also raised suspicions in Washington that Bin Laden may have been protected by Pakistani security forces while on the run.”
The EFE news agency inquired what Pakistan citizens thought about that.
According to that agency, 66 per cent of Pakistanis do not believe that the US Special Forces killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda; they think they killed another person, according to a joint poll ran by the British demoscopic institute, YouGov, and Polis, from Cambridge University.
The poll was said to have been carried out among Internet users, who usually have a higher educational level, in three big cities: Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. The poll excluded rural demographic groups, which makes results to be all the more surprising, according to researchers.
Reportedly, 75 per cent of those polled said they also disapproved the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty by the United States during the operation to capture and kill Bin Laden.
It was also reported that less than three fourths of those polled do not believe Bin Laden approved the 9/11 attacks against the United States, which justified the US invasion in Afghanistan and the war against Islamic terrorism.
According to the poll, 74 per cent think that Washington’s government does not have any respect for Islam and considers itself at war with the Islamic world; 70 per cent disapproves the Pakistani policy of accepting US economic aid.
Eighty six per cent are said to oppose also to the fact that the Pakistani government may in the future –and criticized the possibility that they may have done in the past- authorize attacks using drones against military groups.
Sixty one per cent of the Pakistanis who were interrogated said they sympathized with the Taliban or believed they could represent respectable viewpoints, against only 21 per cent who are radically opposed to them.
Reuters equally published some interesting reports:
“One of Osama bin Laden’s wives told Pakistani interrogators that the Al Qaeda leader and his family had been living for five years in the compound where he was killed by U.S. forces this week, a security official said on Friday.
“The official, who identified the woman as Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, the youngest of Bin Laden’s three wives, told Reuters she was wounded in the raid.
“The security official said Abdulfattah told investigators: ‘We have been living there for the past five years’.”
“Pakistani security forces took between 15 and 16 people into custody from the compound after U.S. forces removed Bin Laden’s body, said the security official. Those detained included Bin Laden’s three wives and several children.”
According to a report published by ANSA, a US drone killed today no less than 15 persons in Waziristan, north of Pakistan. Others were seriously injured. But, who would care about those daily killings in that country?
However, I ask myself one question: Why is there so much coincidence between the assassination that was carried out at Abbottabad and the attempt to simultaneously assassinate Gaddafi?
One of Gaddafi’s youngest sons, who was not involved with political issues, Sarif al Arab, was accompanied by his little son and two little cousins at the house where he lived; Gaddafi and his wife had visited him shortly before the attacks launched by NATO bombers. The house was destroyed; Sarif al Arab and the three kids were killed. Gaddafi and his wife had left shortly before the attack. That was an unprecedented event. But the world has hardly known about that.
Was it a mere chance that such an event coincided with the attack against Osama Bin Laden’s refuge, which was perfectly known by the US government, which kept a close watch on it?
News released today by Vatican City reported as follows:
“May 6 (ANSA) – Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, said today to the Vatican’s agency FIDES: ‘I certainly do not want to interfere with the political activity of anyone, but I have the duty to declare that the bombings on Libya are immoral’.
“I am surprised that statements were made on the fact that I should deal only with spiritual matters and that the bombings have been authorized by the UN. The UN, NATO or the European Union doesn’t have the moral authority to decide to bomb Libya, he said.”
“Let me stress that bombing is not dictated my moral or social conscience of the West or humanity in general. Bombing is always an immoral act.”
Another news published by ANSA on May 6 reports that the governments of China and Russia expressed their deep concern about the war in Libya and said they will work together to call for a cease fire.
According to the Chinese Foreign Minister Jechi Yang, they strongly believed that the most important goal was to achieve an immediate cease fire.