Bin Laden Report Exposes Pakistan's Failures

The document sheds light on how Osama bin Laden was able to evade capture for nine years.

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Osama bin Laden was able to live in Pakistan undetected for more than nine years, according to a leaked report from the Pakistani government.

The 337-page report, obtained by Al-Jazeera, harshly criticizes the Pakistani government, saying bin Laden was able to hide out due to the country's senior political and military leaders' "collective failure." The report was ordered after U.S. special forces raided the al-Qaida leader's compound in Abbottabad and killed him in May of 2011.

The so-called Abbottabad Commission was responsible for determining where the Pakistani government and military failed, according to Al-Jazeera.

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"The initial response by the government appeared confused and incoherent and it was unclear what role, if any, Pakistan had in the actual operation," the report says.

The report had been suppressed by the Pakistani government and includes testimony from more than 200 people, including senior government and military officials and members of bin Laden's family, Al-Jazeera reported.

Pakistani citizens were "outraged" to hear about the U.S. mission to kill bin Laden, the report says. The commission was charged with investigating "how the U.S. was able to execute a hostile military mission" without any kind of military response from Pakistan, as well as how bin Laden was able to remain in the country undetected.

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The commission found that bin Laden entered the country in 2002. He stayed in various locations from tribal areas of Pakistan, to the northern Swat Valley, according to Al-Jazeera. In 2003, he appeared in Haripur, a city in northern Pakistan, where he stayed for two years.

The wife of one of bin Laden's aides said that while they were in the Swat Valley, they all (including bin Laden) were pulled over for speeding, but police did not recognize the al-Qaida leader, BBC reports.

By the summer of 2005, bin Laden and his family had moved into the compound in Abbottabad, which was about 53 miles from the country's capital Islamabad, Al-Jazeera reported.

The statements from bin Laden's wives say that he was able to move around the compound without being recognized because he wore a cowboy hat.

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"They kept a very low profile and lived extremely frugally," the report says. "They never exposed themselves to public view."

In the same year, the Pakistani government closed its search for bin Laden. Still, for more than six years, intelligence officials were not drawn to the strange makeup of the compound - the barbed wire, its size and the lack of visitors, the report says.

"As far as Pakistan is concerned, the failure was primarily an intelligence-security failure that was rooted in political irresponsibility and the military exercise of authority and influence in policy and administrative areas for which it neither had constitutional or legal authority, nor the necessary expertise and competence," the report concludes.

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