Pakistan Security Brief

Details emerge on bin Laden’s residence in Abbottabad; Bin Laden carried 500 euros in cash on him at time of death; President Obama decided against releasing photographs of bin Laden; Pakistani military investigates how Bin Laden resided for years in Abbottabad; Gilani: intelligence failure of the whole world, not just Pakistan alone;” Military remains silent on knowledge of bin Laden whereabouts; JI chief calls for protests; Patek had intended to meet bin Laden; Soldier killed in Taliban ambush in South Waziristan; Security issues keep school closed in Wana; Clashes in Kurram Agency; School blown up in Nowshera.


Osama’s bin Laden’s Death: the Story Develops

  • Details have continued to emerge about the circumstances surrounding Osama bin Laden’s death and the compound in which he was residing in Abbottabad. Arshad Khan, one of two Pakistani men living in the house with bin Laden, is alleged to have bought the four land plots that the compound is built on between 2004 and 2005 for $48,000, under the name Mohammad Arshad. The media outlet has speculated that Arshad may have been one of the five people killed in the operation on Monday.[i]
  • Bin Laden was reportedly carrying 500 euros in cash when he was killed and two telephone numbers had been sewn into his clothes, “suggesting he was ready to flee his Pakistan compound if alerted to a raid.” Additional details on the raid have also emerged, suggesting that the operation was extremely one-sided, with a force of more than 20 Navy SEAL members quickly dispatching the handful of men protecting Bin Laden."[ii]
  • President Obama has decided against releasing photos of bin Laden’s corpse. He defended that "It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence, as a propaganda tool. That's not who we are. You know, we don't trot out this stuff as trophies.”[iii] He argued that DNA and facial recognition testing completed following the attack has verified that the al-Qaeda leader is dead. Meanwhile, Reuters has acquired photos taken by a Pakistani security official following the raid, which show “three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.” The photos did not include any images of bin Laden.[iv]

Pakistan Responds

  • The Pakistani military has commenced an investigation into how Osama bin Laden was able to reside for years in the city of Abbottabad, despite living near a large military presence in the area. Eleven people have been taken in for questioning, including a neighbor and the construction manager who built the house Osama resided in. Three women and nine children who were found in the residence during the raid are also in custody.[v]
  • Prior to meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday, Prime Minister Gilani sought to shift the focus of blame for Pakistan’s alleged ignorance of bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, declaring that “There is an intelligence failure of the whole world, not just Pakistan alone.” He said that because Pakistan shares intelligence with the rest of the world, intelligence lapses in Pakistan “[mean] lapses from the whole world.” Meanwhile, the military has been subjected to domestic criticism and accusations of incompetence. The Washington Post reports that the Pakistani military, ”even while pleading ignorance about the U.S. raid, has argued that it is fully capable of protecting the nation’s nuclear weapons.” Army chief General Kayani, and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, have not commented on what they knew or did not know about bin Laden’s residence in Abbottabad.[vi]
  • Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Syed Munawar Hasan has called for mass protests to be held on Friday in objection to the operation that killed bin Laden. Hasan told Reuters,"Even if there was any sympathy for the Americans, that would dissipate after the way they crushed and violated our sovereignty and our independence."[vii]

Umar Patek

  • Indonesian and Pakistani intelligence officers have said that Umar Patek, arrested in Abbottabad earlier this year for his role in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, had intended to meet bin Laden. Indonesia’s Defense Minister, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, stated that, "The information we have is that Umar Patek ... was in Pakistan with his Filipino wife trying to meet Osama Bin Laden." However, Chairul Akbar, an official at Indonesia's Anti-Terrorism Agency, said that it was possible that Patek had met with other al-Qaeda leaders in January.[viii]


  • A soldier was killed and four others were injured in a Taliban ambush on security forces in South Waziristan on Wednesday. Security personnel traded fire with the assailants in the Serwekai area, resulting in the casualties. Three rockets were also fired at a security camp in Wana, though no casualties were reported. Following the rocket attack, the security forces targeted suspected militant hideouts in Doag, Korezai, Peer Bagh, and Musa Qilla. Also in Wana, the Express Tribune reports that a local school in the area has been closed since November due to security issues. The media outlet reports that “fear of the Taliban has meant many teachers have not gone back to work even in areas like Swat, which are now clear of militants.”[ix]
  • Members of the Hafiz and Nabi groups clashed in Kurram Agency on Wednesday, leaving two people dead. Meanwhile, unidentified militants fired on a vehicle in the Makhzai area of lower Kurram. Elsewhere, unidentified militants killed a local citizen in the Bara area of Khyber Agency on Wednesday. Also in Bara, a young girl was mistakenly killed by a mortar shell that had been fired by security forces in the Malakdin Khel area.[x]


[i] Zarar Khan and Nahal Toosi, “Pakistani doctor sold land for bin Laden compound,” Associated Press, May 4, 2011. Available at
[ii] “Osama was carrying cash, numbers for get-away: Media reports,” AFP, May 4, 2011. Available at
[iii] Stephen Collinson, “Obama refuses to release bin Laden photos,” AFP, May 4, 2011. Available at
[iv] Stephen Collinson, “Obama refuses to release bin Laden photos,” AFP, May 4, 2011. Available at
[v] Carlotta Gall, “Pakistani Military Investigates How Bin Laden Was Able to Hide in Plain View,” New York Times, May 4, 2011. Available at
[vi] Alan Cowell, “Pakistan Sees Shared Intelligence Lapse,” New York Times, May 4, 2011. Available at
[vii] Saeed Azhar, “Pakistan Islamists to protest against U.S. bin Laden raid,” Reuters, May 5, 2011. Available at
[viii] Niniek Karmini, “Indonesia: Terror suspect went to meet bin Laden,” Associated Press, May 4, 2011. Available at
[ix] “Soldier killed, four hurt in ambush,” Dawn, May 4, 2011. Available at
[x] “Soldier killed, four hurt in ambush,” Dawn, May 4, 2011. Available at
[xi] “School blown up in Nowshera,” Express Tribune, May 4, 2011. Available at
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