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Al Qaeda’s East Africa Chief Killed In Somalia

June 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Fazul Abdullah, the presumed head of al Qaeda in east Africa, has been killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

The terror chief was wanted by America for allegedly planning in the US embassy truck bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 which killed 224 people.
Kenya’s police chief confirmed Abdullah was killed on Wednesday – confirming a report from Somali Islamist Shebab rebels.
“We have received that communication from authorities in Somalia,” Kenyan Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said.
“We have been told that there were two terrorists who were killed in Somalia on Wednesday last week.”
Officials with the Somali Transitional Government (TFG) said the terrorist pair were killed at a roadblock on the outskirts of Mogadishu after “they refused to stop”.
The men were travelling in a pick-up truck carrying medicine, laptops and mobile phones.

Abdullah: Wanted by the US over embassy bombings
Abdullah: Wanted by the US over embassy bombings
A Somali security source said the pair appeared to have taken the wrong turning and ended up in an area under TFG control.
A source close to the investigation said the man identified as Abdullah was carrying a South African passport in the name of Daniel Robinson.
The passport, issued April 13, 2009, indicated that its bearer left South Africa for Tanzania on March 19 and was granted a visa there.
Abdullah was also said to have been in possession of $40,000 (£24,600) in cash.
His body has been given to US officials for identification.
Abdullah, who was born in the Comoros islands, joined al Qaeda in 1991.
From 2002 he was put in charge of al Qaeda’s operations in the whole of east Africa.
That same year he planned anti-Israeli attacks in Mombasa that left 15 dead.
In January 2007, he survived a US raid that left dozens of people dead at Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia.


Sky News
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Categories: Terrorism, World News

15 dead in NATO tanker fire in Pakistan: officials

May 22, 2011 Leave a comment
A local resident walks past wreckage of a NATO supplies oil tanker (AFP)
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A bomb attack Saturday on a NATO fuel tanker
headed to Afghanistan sparked a huge fire that killed 15 people who had
rushed to collect petrol leaking from the bombed-out vehicle.
Those
killed in the attack near Landi Kotal town in the lawless northwestern
Pakistan tribal region of Khyber were all civilians, nine of them from
the same family, local administration official Shafeerullah Wazir told
AFP.
Earlier, 11 other NATO supply vehicles, “most of them oil
tankers” were destroyed at a terminal in nearby Torkham town, another
administration official, Iqbal Khattak, said, but there were no
casualties.
The vehicles caught fire after a remote-controlled
device was detonated under one of them around midnight, Khattak said,
adding that he believed the Torkham and Landi Kotal attcks were
coordinated.
On Friday the Taliban bombed a US consulate convoy in
Peshawar, killing one person and wounding 11 others in the first such
attack on Americans in Pakistan since Osama bin Laden’s death on May 2.
Wazir
said the tanker in the Landi Kotal attack caught fire after a small
bomb blast and villagers rushed to collect fuel leaking from the
wreckage when the blaze was put out.
“Suddenly the fire erupted
again and at least 15 people including five young boys who had been
collecting oil in their buckets were burnt to death,” he said.
Four people with severe burn injuries were receiving treatment in a local hospital, he said.
The dead included a nine-year-old child and other victims aged between 18 and 30, local official Nabi Khan told AFP.
They
were collecting petrol to be sold later in the open market where one
litre fetches around 100 rupees (about 1.2 dollars), he said.
Although supply lines were suspended for a few hours after the attacks “traffic is normal now,” Khattak said.
No
group immediately claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks but the
Taliban have admitted to carrying out similar actions in the past and
did so on Friday after the Peshawar bombing.
A US embassy
spokesman said two American government employees were slightly wounded
in the rush-hour attack in the volatile northwestern city, which runs
into the tribal belt that Washington has branded an Al-Qaeda
headquarters.
The Pakistani Taliban also threatened further
attacks against Western targets in telephone calls to AFP and indicated
that the blast was to avenge the killing of bin Laden by US Navy SEALs
in raid north of Islamabad almost three weeks ago.
The United
States leads a NATO force of around 130,000 foreign troops in
Afghanistan that is trying to put down a 10-year Taliban insurgency.
Pakistani logistical and military support is considered vital to the war
effort.
Most supplies and equipment required by foreign troops in Afghanistan are shipped through Pakistan.
Taliban
and Al-Qaeda-linked militants frequently launch attacks across
northwestern Pakistan and the lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border.
Under
US pressure to crack down on Islamist havens on the border, Pakistan
has in the past two years stepped up military operations against largely
homegrown militants in the tribal regions, but the discovery that bin
Laden had been hiding out in the garrison city of Abbottabad has raised
eyebrows.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Arabian Sea port
in Karachi late on Saturday for two-day protest called by Pakistani
opposition leader and former cricketer Imran Khan against US drone
strikes in the tribal belt.
“We’ll sit outside the port’s gate
from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening continuously to block the
trucks carrying NATO supplies,” he said.
The local tanker association has announced it will join the sit-in protest.
Source: AFP
Categories: Terrorism, World News

Taliban attack kills 36 at Afghan road company

May 20, 2011 Leave a comment
Thirty-six people were killed and 20 wounded Thursday when the
Taliban stormed an Afghan road construction company, triggering an
hours-long firefight in the worst attack for months.
Map locating the eastern province of Paktia
in Afghanistan where Taliban fighters attacked an Afghan road
construction company before dawn. The attack
triggered an hours-long firefight that killed 36 people and wounded another 20 in the worst single attack for months.
The violence in the eastern province of Paktia, which
borders Pakistan, started at around 2:00am (2130 GMT Wednesday) and
raged for several hours.
One security guard who survived told AFP that “hundreds”
of Taliban had swamped the compound, forcing him and two colleagues to
hide with guns and a few bullets so they could kill themselves if they
were found.
The attack led to the highest death
toll in a single Taliban operation since they struck at a bank in
Jalalabad, also in the east, in February, killing 38 people.
“Thirty-six of our staff were killed in last night’s
attack,” said Noorullah Bidar, director of the Afghan company targeted,
Galaxy Star.
“They (the Taliban) destroyed a lot of our equipment including vehicles and equipment used for road construction.
“We don’t know why they attacked us… they are doing this to prevent reconstruction in Afghanistan.”
Bidar added that staff from his company working on a
different stretch of the same road in Paktia were attacked in 2009 by a
suicide bomber who killed 16 workers.
Paktia provincial spokesman Rohullah Samoon put the death toll at 35 guards and staff, adding that 20 more were wounded.
Mohammad Ali, a guard for the company, told of how he was
manning a security post at the compound when the Taliban started firing
“from every direction.”
“I believe there were hundreds of them,” he said.
“Me and two of my friends managed to retreat to a room and hid ourselves in a hole in that room.
“We had only one bullet each left and we had kept them
for ourselves because we know that Taliban brutally murder their
prisoners.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said it carried out the attack, killing 40 people and torching four vehicles.
He did not mention any Taliban casualties. The militia is known frequently to exaggerate its claims.
The militants have made Afghan government projects a
prime target in a bid to undermine the authority of President Hamid
Karzai’s administration and have repeatedly kidnapped foreign road
construction workers from camps in the past.
Karzai condemned the attack as “cowardly,” saying it showed the militants did not want development in Afghanistan.
The Taliban have been waging a 10-year battle to evict
foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan in the wake of the 2001 US-led
invasion that toppled their extremist Islamist regime from power for
sheltering Osama bin Laden.
The attack comes a few weeks after they announced the start of their annual spring offensive at the end of April.
There are currently around 130,000 US-led international
troops in the troubled country although limited troop withdrawals are
due to start from a handful of safer areas in July.
This is ahead of a scheduled full withdrawal of combat
troops in 2014, although there have been calls for this timetable to be
speeded up in the wake of the killing of the Al-Qaeda leader by US
forces in Pakistan on May 2.
US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said this week that
accelerating troop withdrawals from Afghanistan because of bin Laden’s
death would be “premature”.
Paktia, which borders Pakistan’s lawless border regions
where Taliban are known to have rear bases, is a highly volatile
province frequently hit by violence and cross-border attacks.
© 2011

AFP

This story is sourced direct from an overseas news agency as an
additional service to readers. Spelling follows North American usage,
along with foreign currency and measurement units.

Categories: Terrorism, World News

Al-Qaida names chief to replace bin Laden

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment
Al Qaeda names Adel as interim chief: Al Jazeera
Some analysts have expressed surprise that Egyptian militant Saif al-Adel has been tapped to lead.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Al Qaeda has appointed an Egyptian militant as
temporary leader and named a new head of operations following the
killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. commandos, al Jazeera reported on
Wednesday, citing its own correspondent.
In a brief news flash, the Arab satellite channel said Saif al-Adel was
named interim leader and Mustafa al-Yemeni, whose surname hints he is
from Yemen, would direct operations.
The channel is seen as having good contacts with militants in
Afghanistan and Pakistan and was the main conduit for bin Laden to
release messages to the media.
“I think it’s more for show than anything else. It is to illustrate to
the world that they have a temporary leader,” Dubai-based security
analyst Theodore Karasik said of Adel.
“Adel clearly has operational experience but he does not have the intellectual or charismatic side that bin Laden had.”
U.S. special forces shot dead Al Qaeda leader bin Laden in his hideout
outside the capital of Pakistan earlier this month, almost 10 years
after the September 11 attacks of 2001 killed around 3,000 people in the
United States.
U.S. prosecutors say Adel is one of al Qaeda’s leading military
commanders and helped plan the bomb attacks on the American embassies in
Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998.
They also say he set up al Qaeda training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan in the 1990s.
But reports have suggested Adel viewed the September 11 attacks as a mistake and criticized bin Laden over them.
Mustafa Alani, a political analyst based in Dubai, said he doubted Adel
had taken on a temporary leadership role, citing past disputes between
Adel and the charismatic Saudi leader.
“This man was an opponent of bin Laden and the September 11 attacks. He
criticized bin Laden personally, describing him as a dictator who took
decisions without referring to his colleagues,” he said.
Alani also said bin Laden was a symbolic leader who did not need to be
replaced. “I am questioning the credibility of the need to replace him.
Osama bin Laden is not a leader, he’s an ideologist. The idea of
replacing bin Laden as a manager — it doesn’t work this way,” he said.
IRANIAN SOJOURN

Adel was believed to have fled to Iran after the U.S. invasion of
Afghanistan following September 11 and was subsequently held under a
form of house arrest there, according to some media reports.

Arab media reports said Iranian authorities released him from custody
about a year ago, and he then moved back to the Afghanistan-Pakistan
border region. Some analysts say Adel may have returned to Iran or
Afghanistan in recent weeks.
Noman Benotman, a former bin Laden associate who is now an analyst with
Britain’s Quilliam Foundation think-tank, said Adel was already a kind
of “chief of staff” who took on the role to assuage concerns by al Qaeda
activists about the group’s future.
“This role that he has assumed is not as overall leader, but he is in
charge in operational and military terms,” he said on Tuesday, adding
that Adel — who Benotman knew personally when both were active in
Afghanistan — was on good terms with Ayman al-Zawahri, al Qaeda’s
number two figure.
“This has happened in response to the impatience displayed by jihadists
online who have been extremely worried about the delay in announcing a
successor,” he told Reuters in London.
“It is hoped that now they will calm down. It also paves the way for Zawahri to take over.”
Audio and video announcements from bin Laden largely dried up in recent
years while Zawahri recorded frequent messages. But Zawahri is seen as
lacking the charisma and oratorical skills of bin Laden, a Saudi of
Yemeni origin.
Al Qaeda has an active wing in Yemen but has not managed to establish itself in Egypt, the most populous Arab nation. 
Reuters
Categories: Terrorism, World News

Bin Laden journal reveals his calculations for another 9/11-style attack

May 17, 2011 Leave a comment

The release of more information seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound revealed that he thought only another 9/11-scale attack would force the US out of the Arab world.

In this Dec. 24, 1998 file photo, al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden speaks to a selected group of reporters in the mountains of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan.  Rahimullah Yousafzai/AP/File

The ongoing study of files recovered from Osama bin Laden‘s
compound revealed that he wanted to plan another 9/11-scale attack on
the US, which he hoped would shock the US into ending its presence in
the Middle East.

As information from the files is studied, it is
becoming increasingly clear to US officials that bin Laden remained very
involved in Al Qaeda‘s
operations from his hiding spot in Abbottabad. It remains to be seen,
however, if this will convince Pakistani officials that the 9/11
mastermind was more than an “out-of-touch figurehead” whose presence
deep inside Pakistan was of little consequence, as they have suggested.
Citing bin Laden’s handwritten journal and information gleaned from computer files recovered in the May 2 raid, US officials told the Associated Press
that the Saudi-born terrorist calculated how many Americans he thought
would have to die in order for the US to leave the Arab world and
decided that the small attacks since 9/11 would not be enough – that
thousands had to die at once, like they did in the attacks on the World
Trade Center.
Bin
Laden was cognizant of US counterterrorism defenses and educated his
followers on how to evade them, according to the AP. He also urged them
to focus plots not just on New York City, but other large cities, such
as Los Angeles, and smaller cities throughout the country. He insisted
they consider trains as a target, not just planes.
The files show
that bin Laden was involved in every terror plot in the past year that
the US knew about, including those in Europe that had the continent on
alert for weeks. He was also in contact with Al Qaeda franchises that
the US thought were working independently, such as Al Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), although it does not seem like he was able to
coordinate the various franchises’ activities.
The first clues to
bin Laden’s continued role in Al Qaeda emerged May 5, when US officials
revealed that bin Laden had wanted to stage an attack on the US rail system, possibly on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Further
analysis has revealed bin Laden’s unexpectedly high level of
involvement in Al Qaeda in recent years, contrasting with initial
reports that his capture would change little about the terrorist
organization’s work. As The Christian Science Monitor reported, Al
Qaeda’s primacy was already on the wane and the fact that bin Laden was
still at large was mostly a symbol of defiance.
“Whether
bin Laden provided material assistance or not to actual terrorist
attacks, his act of survival provided spiritual sustenance to
supporters,” Ray Takeyh, a Georgetown professor and senior fellow in
Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the
Monitor. “That’s been removed.”
Pakistan has already dismissed the notion that bin Laden coordinated terror attacks from his compound, casting him instead as an “out-of-touch figurehead,” reports Reuters.
John
J. LeBeau, a former CIA senior operations officer, told the news agency
that it was still too early to say what bin Laden’s role was in his
final years. “The information needs to be filtered, vetted, and
cross-checked before you can say anything with any authority,” said Mr.
LeBeau, a professor of security studies at the George C. Marshall Center
for Security Studies in Germany.
Categories: Terrorism, World News

Pakistan suicide bombs kill 80 to avenge bin Laden death

May 14, 2011 Leave a comment
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – People injured in twin suicide bombs attacks
arrive at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Friday, May 13,
2011. Twin explosions struck a paramilitary training center in
northwestern Pakistan on Friday, in the bloodiest attack in the country
since a U.S. raid killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

(Mohammad Zubair / AP)


HABQADAR, Pakistan (AP) — A pair of Taliban
suicide bombers attacked paramilitary police recruits eagerly heading
home for a break after months of training, killing 80 people Friday in
the first act of retaliation for the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

In claiming responsibility, the al-Qaida linked militant group cited anger at Pakistan’s military for failing to stop the American incursion on their soil.

The
blasts in the northwest were a reminder of the savagery of Islamist
insurgents in Pakistan. Tensions also have risen between the U.S. and
Islamabad over allegations that some elements of Pakistani security
forces had been harboring bin Laden, who died in a May 2 raid in
Abbottabad, a garrison town about three hours’ drive from the scene of
the bombing.

“We have done this to avenge the Abbottabad incident,” Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, told The Associated Press in a phone call. He warned that the group was also planning attacks on Americans living inside Pakistan.

The
bombers blew themselves up in Shabqadar at the main gate of the
facility for the Frontier Constabulary, a poorly equipped but front-line
force in the battle against al-Qaida and allied Islamist groups like
the Pakistani Taliban close to the Afghan border. Like other branches of
Pakistan’s security forces, it has received U.S. funding to try to
sharpen its skills.

At least 80 people were killed, including 66 recruits, and around 120 people were wounded, said police officer Liaqat Ali Khan.

Around
900 young men were leaving the center after spending six months of
training there. They were in high spirits and looking forward to seeing
their families, for which some had brought gifts, a survivor said.
Some
people were sitting inside public minivans and others were loading
luggage atop the vehicles when the bombers struck, witnesses said.

“We
were heading toward a van when the first blast took place and we fell
on the ground and then there was another blast,” said 21-year-old Rehmanullah Khan. “We enjoyed our time together, all the good and bad weather and I cannot forget the cries of my friends before they died.”

The scene was littered with shards of glass mixed with blood and flesh. The explosions destroyed at least 10 vans.

It was the first major militant attack in Pakistan since bin Laden’s death on May 2, and the deadliest this year.

Militants had pledged to avenge the killing and launch reprisal strikes in Pakistan.

The
Taliban spokesman suggested the attack was aimed as punishment against
Pakistani authorities for failing to stop the unilateral U.S. raid that
killed bin Laden, something that has sparked popular nationalist and
Islamist anger.

“The Pakistani army has failed to protect its land,” Ahsan said.

In
its communications, the Taliban often tries to tap into popular
sentiments in the country, where anti-Americanism is often stronger than
feelings against Islamist militants. This is despite militant attacks
over the last four years claiming the lives of many hundreds, if not
thousands, of civilians.

Some
350 lawyers sympathetic with Islamists attended special prayers for bin
Laden on the premises of the provincial high court in the eastern city
of Lahore on Friday. The lawyers cursed the May 2 raid, chanting “Down
with America.”

The explosive vests used in Friday’s attacks were packed with ball bearings and nails, police said.

Police official Nisar Khan said a suicide bomber in his late teens or early 20s set off one of the blasts.

“The
first blast occurred in the middle of the road, and after that there
was a huge blast that was more powerful than the first,” said Abdul Wahid, a 25-year-old recruit whose legs were wounded in the blasts.

Bin
Laden, the Sept. 11 mastermind, and at least four others were killed by
U.S. Navy SEALs who raided his compound in Abbottabad. Bin Laden is
believed to have lived in the large house for up to six years.

Pakistani officials have denied knowing he was there but criticized the U.S. raid ordered by President Barack Obama
as a violation of their country’s sovereignty. To counter allegations
that Pakistan harbored bin Laden, the officials point out that thousands
of Pakistani citizens, and up to 3,000 of its security forces, have
died in suicide and other attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, when Islamabad
became an ally of the U.S. in taking on Islamist extremists.

Many
of the attacks have targeted Pakistani security forces, but government
buildings, religious minorities and Western targets also have been hit.

Pakistan’s intelligence chief, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha,
admitted “negligence” on the part of authorities in failing to find bin
Laden during a closed session in Parliament on Friday, a government
spokeswoman told reporters. Military officials, including the powerful
army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said they would improve the country’s air defenses, which did not detect the high-tech U.S. choppers used in the raid.

The
military leaders also assured lawmakers that Pakistan’s nuclear
arsenals are safe and that the armed forces were capable of defending
the country, said Firdous Ashiq Awan, the federal information minister.
In
another development Friday, Pakistani intelligence officials said a
U.S. missile strike killed three people near the Afghan border.

The
four missiles struck a vehicle in the Doga Madakhel village of North
Waziristan tribal region. North Waziristan is home to many militant
groups dedicated to attacking Western troops in Afghanistan.
The
two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not
authorized to speak to media. They did not know the identities of
the dead.
___
Associated Press writers Ashraf Khan and Deb Riechmann in Islamabad, Babar Dogar in Lahore and Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan contributed to this report.

Categories: Terrorism, World News

Al-Qaeda vows to avenge Osama’s death

May 7, 2011 Leave a comment
The Pakistani Taliban on Tuesday warned that they would target Pakistan
and the US to avenge the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden by US
special forces.
WASHINGTON: Al-Qaeda on Friday vowed to avenge
the death of Osama bin Laden and urged Muslims to rise up against the
United States, as rallies against the killing of the 9/11 mastermind in a
US raid flared in the Islamic world.
“We
call upon our Muslim people in Pakistan, on whose land Sheikh Osama was
killed, to rise up and revolt to cleanse this shame,” the terror
network said in a statement released by the SITE monitoring group.


Confirming
Osama’s death for the first time, Al-Qaeda urged Pakistani Muslims “to
cleanse their country from the filth of the Americans who spread
corruption in it.”
In the statement posted on jihadist Internet forums, the Islamist group
proclaimed its Saudi-born founder a “martyr,” adding he had “terrified
all the nations of disbelief.”

The White House swiftly said it
was on alert for security threats as Al-Qaeda also vowed to release an
audio tape made by their inspirational leader just a week before he was
shot dead on Monday by US commandos in Pakistan.

“We are quite
aware of the potential for activity and are highly vigilant on that
matter for that reason,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

US
President Barack Obama was on Friday to meet privately with members of
the elite commando team who carried out the risky helicopter-borne raid
of the fortified compound in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where
Osama had been hiding.

The meeting comes a day after Obama laid a
wreath at Ground Zero, the site where the felled World Trade Centre
once stood, in a sombre moment aimed at bringing closure to Americans
still haunted by the September 11, 2011 attacks.

And he vowed
that Osama’s death had proved America will never fail to bring
terrorists to justice, saying “when we say we will never forget, we mean
what we say.”

The White House has been eager to avoid any
triumphalism over the elimination of the world’s most wanted man, blamed
for the 2001 attacks in which almost 3,000 people were killed, in a bid
to avoid whipping up Muslim anger.

But Al-Qaeda vowed the blood of Osama “is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain”.

And
on the traditional day of prayers, hundreds of Islamists rallied in
Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey to vow revenge for the death of Osama, who
had inspired militant Muslims for decades.

In Abbottabad, just 50
kilometres from the capital Islamabad, where Osama was finally tracked
down after a years-long manhunt, police marshalled a rally of about
1,000 men.

Setting fire to tyres and blocking a main road, the
protesters yelled: “Down, down USA!” and “Terrorist, terrorist, USA
terrorist.”

Hundreds took to the streets in the insurgency-riven
Pakistani city of Quetta near the Afghan border to chant “Long live
Osama” and call for holy war against America.

Islamists also
rallied in Cairo, but were stopped by soldiers about a block from the US
embassy, and resorted to shouting “leave, leave” and “lower the
(American) flag.”

About 200 people, including a small group of
veiled women, also gathered outside an Istanbul mosque after Friday
prayers carrying pictures of Osama.

One banner in English read: “We will not forget the crimes of US and Israel.”

Lebanese
radical cleric Omar Bakri, who hailed the 9/11 hijackers as the
“magnificent 19,” has called for prayers to mourn Osama in Lebanon and
outside US embassies around the world.

“We call on our followers
in Europe, Canada and especially Britain to pray for his soul outside
American embassies,” Bakri, who was based in Britain for nearly two
decades, told AFP.

Intelligence seized during Monday’s operation
showed the architect of the 9/11 attacks had remained closely involved
in Al-Qaeda despite hiding away from the outside world.

The
network had even been mulling strikes on US trains on the 10th
anniversary of the September 11 attacks, US officials said on Thursday.

It
is not yet clear how far Osama’s death is likely to affect Al-Qaeda’s
operational capabilities and its ability to follow through on its
threats. And Friday’s protests were only limited in scale.

After
days of questions in Washington over how the 9/11 architect found
shelter, Pakistan’s military hit back demanding the US cut its troop
presence in the country to a “minimum”.

But former Pakistani
president Pervez Musharraf blamed the failure to detect Osama on the
“incompetence” of his country’s intelligence services.

“One can draw only two conclusions,” Musharraf told National Public Radio.

“One
is complicity from our intelligence agencies. The second is
incompetence and I strongly believe in the latter,” Musharraf said. “I
cannot imagine that there was complicity.”

In another sign of
potential lapses by the Pakistani intelligence services, the Washington
Post reported that the CIA had maintained a safe house in Abbottabad
undetected for several months to spy on Osama’s compound.

The close-up spying operation allowed them to draw up a “pattern of life” for the occupants inside, the paper said.

Obama’s meeting on Friday with the commandos was to take place at the Fort Campbell army base in Kentucky, an official said.

The
president “will have the opportunity to privately thank some of the
special operators involved in the operation,” the official said.

The
Obama administration has been forced to defend the raid’s legality
after acknowledging Osama was unarmed when he was shot dead.

But
new details have been released of the operation after conflicting
accounts from the White House. The SEALs also found an AK-47 and a
pistol in his room, a US official told AFP Thursday.

“He had
weapons in his room, more than one,” said the official, who spoke on
condition of anonymity. “He was not compliant. He did not surrender.”

The
official said the commandos encountered just one armed man at the
compound – Osama’s courier – who opened fire near the start of the
nearly 40-minute operation.

US media reported the courier was
killed along with his wife in a guest house adjacent to the main
residence where Osama was hiding.

At the larger three-story
building, commandos shot and killed the courier’s brother, who
reportedly had one hand behind his back. US officials have said Osama’s
son was also killed in the raid.


The Long War Journal
Categories: Terrorism, World News