Why operation Osama was no Zero Dark Thirty

The statement made by the former ISI chief Asad Durrani regarding Osama Bin Laden is startling but not surprising. Durrani said that the government of Pakistan is likely to have sheltered Osama Bin Laden and handed him over to the United States of America as part of a deal.

Officials in India say that the claim by Durrani is not entirely wrong. He is right in a lot of aspects and all through it was a well known fact that Bin Laden was not hiding in a cave in Afghanistan but was very much under the protection of the Pakistan government.

Osama bin Laden

In a nut shell Indian Intelligence officials say that the events leading to his death were no Zero Dark Thirty (the Kathryn Bigelow directed movie on Operation Neptune Spear)

Strategic warfare:

When the US launched strikes on Afghanistan post 9/11, the specific intention was to bring to justice Osama Bin Laden.

There was credible information that Bin Laden was very much in Afghanistan alongside Mullah Omar the head of the Afghan Taliban.

Despite several air strikes and raids the US claimed that they were unable to track Bin Laden or Mulah Omar.

A few months later, the US issued a statement that Bin Laden could have escaped on horse back and may be hiding in a cave in Afghanistan.

In reality as per the information that was picked up by the Indian agencies, Bin Laden at that time had been shifted into Pakistan and given a cover.

In the case of Mullah Omar, the ISI shifted him to Balochistan and intelligence today suggests that he still very much over there.

For the US, bringing Bin Laden to justice was extremely important. It was an election year in the US and the killing of Laden or even his capture would have given the government of the day a lot of credibility.

Many officers in India would believe that the killing of Laden was well timed. There is no way that the US could have carried out a covert operation involving so many forces and choppers without the Pakistanis knowing about it.

Osama had become useless for Pakistan's ISI:

Indian Intelligence officials say that the ISI has the tendency of using people and then giving them up. They have done it with various terrorists and another classic example was that of Ilyas Kashmiri the operational chief of the 313 Brigade of the Al-Qaeda.

Ilyas Kashmiri who was nurtured by the ISI and kept under their safe vigil was given up the US who ultimately killed him in a drone strike.

Kashmiri had become extremely uncomfortable for the ISI and he had decided to go out all alone and fight the US.

This is not something that went down too well with the ISI. There was also palpable tension between the two when the ISI stole his plan of the 26/11 attack and handed it over to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in a bid to keep them united.

At the time Osama Bin Laden was killed his charm had already begun to fade. There was already a move within the Al-Qaeda to replace him with a younger leader.

The choice at that time was Kashmiri and the Al-Qaeda was moving slowly towards enhancing its operational base.

Intelligence agencies say that Bin Laden had slowed down a considerable amount. There were hardly any appearances through videos and neither had been taking part in any of the major Al-Qaeda decision making meetings.

Over all he had slowly started to being rendered as useless and this could have led Pakistan to give him up.

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