ISLAMABAD: Collective failures, incompetence and negligence by Pakistan allowed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to live in the country undetected for more than nine years, a leaked report says.
The report by a Pakistani judicial commission also reveals new details about the United States (US) raid that killed bin Laden and intriguing details about his life on the run, including that he wore a cow-boy hat to evade detection by US satellites.
Central Intelligence Agency spies tracked down bin Laden to the northwestern town of Abbottabad, where he was shot dead by US Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011 during the dramatic raid near Pakistan’s military academy.
It was one of the most humiliating episodes in Pakistan’s history and exposed the country to allegations of incompetence or collusion with Al-Qaeda to hide the world’s most wanted man.
The government set up the judicial commission shortly after the raid to investigate after parliament demanded an independent enquiry.
It interviewed senior civilian and military officials and bin Laden’s three widows before they were deported to Saudi Arabia. But its findings were kept secret until the Al-Jazeera news network published them on Monday.
“Culpable negligence and incompetence at almost all levels of government can more or less be conclusively established by the testimonies of witnesses,” the report said.
The commission said it had found nothing to support allegations of complicity but neither could it rule out the possibility of “‘plausibly deniable’ support” from current or former officials.