2 May has gone down in modern history as the day that terrorist number one, Osama bin Laden, was killed. The official version states that, in 2011, he was shot dead by US special forces in the house where he was living with his wives and children. The house itself was in a city in Pakistan, where he had been hiding undetected ever since the senior members of al-Qaeda (a terrorist organisation banned in Russia) had fled Afghanistan following the defeat of the government of Mullah Omar, who had been sheltering them. Under cover of night, US helicopters carrying two groups of special forces flew to the operation location from Afghanistan, which was a violation of Pakistan’s state sovereignty.
Recalling the incident in his book Pakistan: A Personal History, which was published in the same year as Osama bin Laden’s official assassination, the current prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, noted: “It was bad enough that the world’s most wanted man was not found in some cave but in a city only 50 kilometres from Islamabad, and a mile from Pakistan’s Military Academy. What made it worse was that the news was broken to us Pakistanis, and the rest of the world, by President Obama”.
“It was several hours later when a statement came from our government congratulating the US and taking credit for providing the US with all the information about Osama’s location. This begged the obvious question for all Pakistanis: if we knew about his whereabouts, then why did we not capture him ourselves? The media in India and the rest of the world went wild, blaming Pakistan’s ISI (in other words, the army) for having kept Osama in a safe house for the past six years. […]
“Three days later, the army chief denied all knowledge of the operation and announced that any such violation of our sovereignty would not be violated again. A week later the PM only added to the confusion when he finally gave a statement, suggesting ‘a matching response’ to any attack against ‘Pakistan’s strategic assets’. For Pakistanis, especially those living abroad, this was one of the most humiliating and painful times. The CIA chief Panetta further rubbed salt in our wounds by bluntly saying that the Pakistan government was either incompetent or complicit.”
The US propaganda machine, meanwhile, was continuing its work around the world and few now dispute the widely held view, or rather myth, that bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad. Films have been made, and books published, that back up America’s official version with an additional narrative. The Russian-language Wikipedia page on Operation Neptune Spear goes into great detail. What’s more, all of the links are to US resources or reprints of them.
The fact that everyone who took part in the raid on bin Laden’s house is now dead seems a little strange, however. Just as suspicious is the fact that Dr Shakil Afridi – who, according to official legend, obtained evidence of bin Laden’s whereabouts by running a fake vaccination programme – was arrested almost as soon as the operation was over and sentenced to 33 years for treason. Something else that gives pause for thought is the official story that bin Laden’s body was buried at sea on the same day. There had apparently been enough time for examination and identification at the US military base in Afghanistan and the Americans had got everything they needed to know.
The author of this article recently got the opportunity to go to Abbottabad and used the visit to see where bin Laden was killed and glean any details that were not published in the world’s press.
The city of Abbottabad is located in a valley surrounded by mountains and the Karakoram Highway passes close by. As well as the Military Academy in Abbottabad itself, there are a number of military bases and installations located around the city. The fence of an ordnance factory that produces a variety of weapons stretches for many kilometres along both sides of the Karakoram Highway. In other words, it is a place with a pretty high level of security requirements. In 2011, when the operation was carried out, the security measures in and around the city were probably just as strict and serious.
Almost immediately before entering the territory of the Academy, there is a single right turn that leads to the suburb of Bilal Town. We stopped alongside a small group of men outside a shop and asked for directions to bin Laden’s house. After a few seconds’ pause, one of them told us how to get there and where to turn. We stopped again outside another shop further along to clarify exactly where we were going and arrived a few minutes later.
The first person we met was an elderly gentlemen and we asked him about the house, to which he replied: “Yes, that’s the house where the Americans carried out their operation and killed people, only bin Laden wasn’t there. It’s a lie.”
The man hurried on his way and we didn’t question him further. All that remains of the house are the foundations (the building was demolished some time after the operation – another strange fact), and the territory is surrounded by a fairly low concrete wall with a few openings. We saw two men within the walls of the compound itself and decided to talk to them. One of them willingly told us what he knew.
He lives close by and, on the night in question, he and his family heard the sound of helicopters. The sound was so loud that his father climbed up onto the roof, afraid that a helicopter might fall onto their house. A flash then lit up the sky, and explosions and gunfire rang out.
The house itself, where the operation took place, was located away from other structures. There are a few other buildings in the neighbourhood today but, in 2011, only a single-storey building stood opposite. Nevertheless, all the neighbours went up onto their roofs or outside to see what was going on.
They all knew who was living in the house. According to one of the men we spoke to, it was the family of a businessman from Peshawar. All the neighbours respected him because he regularly helped the local community. The fence around his house was quite high and it’s possible that this was the deciding factor for those who had planned the operation.
“What happened next was like an Indian action movie from the 1990s,” recalls an eyewitness. One of the helicopters fell and burst into flames.
The police arrived about an hour after the first explosions and cordoned off the area, preventing anyone from getting in.
“It’s strange, because when there’s a wedding or a celebration, people often fire into the air and the police arrive in minutes, but this time it took them almost an hour,” said a neighbour.
Another helicopter arrived some time later, picked up the US special forces and flew away. While telling us about it, a young man stated several times that it was like a well-played drama, especially when you take into account what happened next.
“The elderly gentleman you met on the road back there was arrested by the Pakistani intelligence agency and then released,” added the neighbour.
He also believes that bin Laden wasn’t there, and it was innocent people who suffered. Since the land was purchased from the state for residential development, it is legally private property. The deceased owner probably has family somewhere, but nobody has claimed it as yet. And it could be that the target was chosen intentionally so that there would be as few leads and witnesses as possible.
An interesting fate befell the wreckage of the US helicopter that crashed. The Pakistani military handed it over to China and, following relevant research, the country developed its own version of the US helicopter. So Operation Neptune Spear resulted in a leak of military technology. Such things aren’t talked about in America, however.
It should be added that, during America’s war on terror following 9/11, 36,000 people have been killed in Pakistan, including 6,000 soldiers; the country has lost approximately $68 billion; and nearly half a million people have been displaced. While it costs $1 million per year to keep an American soldier in Pakistan, the cost of one Pakistani soldier is $900 per year. And, until very recently, US combat drones repeatedly violated the airspace over Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan – often attacking civilians in the tribal area rather than militants.
However, media outlets under the control of the US State Department continue to report on the US Army’s successes in its war on terror. One needs only to recall Donald Trump’s recent statements regarding America’s victory over ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Fabricating lies and demonising America’s geopolitical opponents, as well as anyone who disagrees with the country’s global agenda, is all in a day’s work for the media lackeys of the US establishment.