|Bin Laden: Are the man and his myth both dead?||
It was thought that Osama bin Laden had died many years ago in the Tora Bora caves and only his legend lived on, but U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Sunday that the Al-Qaeda chief had been killed.
So, now, it would appear both the man and the myth are dead.
In a pre-dawn attack in Abbottabad, a tourist resort 62km north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, U.S. operatives killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, nearly a decade after the United States launched a war on the people of Afghanistan using the pretext of capturing or killing the Al-Qaeda mastermind. The high-profile execution at this point in time raises many questions, but first, let us examine what actually happened on Monday morning in Pakistan and the importance of the location where the killing took place.
Abbottabad is a small summer resort city surrounded by lush green hills and the high-altitude mountain ranges of Kashmir. Situated nearby is Pakistan’s biggest military academy, known as Kakul. Roughly 500 meters from the gates of this military academy, Bin Laden was living in a three-storey house in a fortified compound. The place is only a one-hour drive from Islamabad, and a distance of a half-day’s trip from the Afghan border, where he was previously thought to be hiding by western intelligence analysts.
According to the Associated Press, CIA officials discovered the compound in August 2010 while monitoring an Al-Qaeda courier. The CIA had that courier under surveillance for years, ever since detainees told interrogators that the messenger was so trusted by Bin Laden that he could very well have been living with the Al-Qaeda leader.
Nestled in an affluent neighborhood, the compound was surrounded by walls as high as six meters (18 feet), topped with barbed wire. Two security gates guarded the only way in. A third-floor terrace was shielded by a 2.33-meter (seven-foot) privacy wall. No phone lines or Internet cables ran to the property. The residents burned their garbage rather than put it out for collection. U.S. intelligence officials believed the million-dollar compound was built five years ago to protect a major terrorist figure. The question was, who?
The CIA asked itself again and again who might be living behind those walls and each time, they concluded it was almost certainly Bin Laden.
The first question is: Why did the CIA decide to assassinate Bin Laden now; and the second is: Was Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) involved?
The answer to second question is probably yes.
Last month, ISI chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha went to the U.S. and conducted a series of meetings with CIA Director Leon Panetta and other high-ranking Pentagon officials. In the course of the talks, it seems, it was decided to get rid of Bin Laden and end the conflict in Afghanistan.
In the joint operation, U.S. Blackhawk helicopters ferried about two dozen troops into the compound from Navy SEAL Team Six, a top military counter-terrorism unit, while Pakistani security forces cordoned off the area and also provided the air-cover in which the Pakistanis lost a helicopter and its crew. Bin Laden was shot in the head after he and his bodyguards resisted the assault. After 40 minutes of fighting, Bin Laden and an adult son, Hamza, one unidentified woman and two men were dead.
The assassination of Bin Laden at this time indicates that both Pakistan and the U.S. are now interested in ending the Afghan conflict. Pakistan is anxious to see the U.S. out of Afghanistan as soon as possible. The Obama administration also has its hands full with this war started by his predecessor George W. Bush on the pretext of hunting down the Al-Qaeda chief, whom Bush accused of perpetrating the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York.
However, not many bought the Bush administration’s assertions that Bin Laden actually conducted history’s most sophisticated terrorist operation on U.S. soil.
Many people have always known that 9/11 was an inside job or at least fully facilitated by the CIA and the Pentagon in order to launch new wars against the Islamic countries to achieve multiple objectives. Besides destabilizing the Islamic world by creating ethnic and sectarian divisions, territorial conflicts, and leaving a legacy of simmering disputes in the regions of Central Asia, Southwest Asia and North Africa, the wars were also intended to boost the sputtering American economy by first triggering the Military Industrial Complex into action and then starting a process of rebuilding the war-torn countries.
Moreover, U.S. involvement in the energy-rich regions is also meant to curtail the rise of Chinese economic power by denying it easy access to energy, with the ultimate goal of removing China and Russia as political players in the Mediterranean region.
Because of the United States’ “war on terror”, Pakistan has been engulfed in the flames of extremism and terrorism, with its economy and society suffering badly due to a decade-long reckless war on its borders. So it appears the current administration has finally decided to eliminate the casus belli, leaving the U.S. with no option but to leave the region.
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