Washington: Afghan spies had “good” intelligence leads in 2007 on the possible hideout of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan proper but an “angry” Pervez Musharraf, the then president, refused to act, according to Afghanistan’s former spy chief.
“We did a lot of work in the tribal areas of Pakistan… going village to village, recruiting random informants,” Amrullah Saleh said.
“We came to the conclusion that bin Laden was not in the tribal areas,” he said.
But Musharraf refused to take action despite receiving detailed reports, Saleh told CNN.
Saleh said his network of spies and informants had in 2007 uncovered al-Qaeda safe houses deep inside Pakistan believed to be connected to the once-elusive bin Laden, and that the former Pakistani president had disregarded those reports.
The former spy chief said he then directed intelligence sources to Pakistan proper, identifying al-Qaeda safe houses in a town called Manshera, a short drive from what turned out to be bin Laden’s lair in Abbottabad.
US SEALs killed bin Laden on May 2 in a covert raid.
Saleh said the intelligence reports provided good information, though not what he considered to be “actionable intelligence.”
But when he mentioned them during a meeting with Musharraf and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, Musharraf became “very angry,” he said.
The former Pakistani president also “refused to take action, or at least do a random street-to-street check of that area,” Saleh recalled. Zeenews