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Thread: Bin Laden: after Abbottabad (merged thread)

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Hardly. The compound was on open field early on. The city sprawled, the neighbours came later.

    I further think you overestimate the capabilities of a state like Pakistan. They would need to knock on all doors and search the houses to even know who's living there. There's no credit card system that would allow them to track you buying a train ticket to Islamabad or something.
    I think I read somewhere that espionage existed before credit cards. I don't see that you'd need to knock on everyone's door--just have some of your own guys live there and watch the neighborhood. When one of the neighbors leaves for work, detail a guy to follow him and find out who he is. Or plant some guys in the construction companies when the houses are being built, and figure out who's moving into them that way. Insinuate people into the neighborhood, listen to the gossip. Identify people who are more curious about the compound. Identify people whose situation makes them more likely to try to collect on the reward. Plant some rumors of your own to keep suspicion down and/or keep people afraid to find out.

    Point is, it didn't happen--"it" being a neighbor finding out and collecting the bounty. Maybe they never found out; the walls of the compound are certainly high enough. Regardless, I find it highly unlikely that if the ISI knew the location of OBL (and as I've said before, I think they did), they wouldn't put significant effort into making sure a random neighbor didn't screw up the entire operation. And there are lot of potential methods for accomplishing that sort of thing.
    Last edited by motorfirebox; 05-06-2011 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #102
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Compound factor Part 9 (Pashtunwali)

    Pashtunwali appears on a few threads on SWC and the linked article explains some of the cultural context 'The Code of the Hills', which ends with:
    more than anything, America needs to understand the importance of Pashtunwali and operate through it. People who see themselves through the lens of honor will respond positively if they are treated honorably.
    Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...e_of_the_hills
    davidbfpo

  3. #103
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    I think I read somewhere that espionage existed before credit cards.
    http://theazon.com/2011/02/overloade...n-at-pakistan/

    Do you still think the ISI had even noticed if a neighbour had travelled to the embassy instead of to some distant uncle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    http://theazon.com/2011/02/overloade...n-at-pakistan/

    Do you still think the ISI had even noticed if a neighbour had travelled to the embassy instead of to some distant uncle?
    Well, either they did notice, or nobody tried.

  5. #105
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    Well, either they did notice, or nobody tried.
    I see no reason to suppose that neighbors knew or even suspected that bin Laden was present. Unless he openly showed himself there'd be no reason to suspect that. There are lots of people, and lots of types of people, who have profitable business on the frontier, much of it illicit. It wouldn't be that uncommon for them to build a secure bolt-hole in a neighborhood off the frontier. The natural conclusion would be that a drug dealer or smuggler was setting up a rear area retreat. Once that assumption was made there'd be little incentive to inquire further.

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    NO drug dealer or smuggler could be living in that place without the police and the security agencies being exactly aware of who he was, what his business was and who visited him and so on. Neighbors, yes, they might not know, but in most cases, some will be nosy enough to know. Servants seem to know a lot about the neighborhood.
    No, the way it worked was that someone in the security agencies let it be known that this house was "agency business". May even have hinted that some "good jihadis" (Haqqani family, Daood Ibrahim, whatever) were hiding there. That would do it. Neighbors (according to friends in the Pakistani police) all regarded it as an "agency building". THey certainly did NOT know that Bin Laden was there. Most likely, neither did the fluctuating ranks of lower level agency people (such areas in Pakistan are crawling with FIU, MI, ISI, special branch and whatnot, Fuchs is completely off when he imagines its like those trains in the pictures). But someone put him there and spread the notion that it was an agency site and therefore protected from on high.
    I have no idea how long he was there. My police friend made no comment about that.

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    Default The Lawfulness of Killing Bin Laden

    The Lawfulness of Killing Bin Ladin

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    The Lawfulness of Killing Bin Ladin
    by Butch Bracknell

    Much has been made of the recent revelations that Osama bin Ladin was unarmed at the moment he was killed by U.S. special operations forces in close quarters battle. Let us put this issue to rest with dispatch, once and for all: Killing bin Ladin was not an extrajudicial execution, a murder, or a war crime. It was a combat engagement lawful under U.S. and international legal authority – full stop.

    Two rationales undergird the lawful killing an enemy combatant, including an unlawful combatant such as the transnational terrorist bin Ladin: self-defense and jus in bello.

    - The self-defense justification usually permits a “friendly” combatant to engage an opponent with deadly force when the combatant believes his or her life, or the life of other members of his or her unit or other authorized protected persons (for example, certain noncombatants present in the area, such as ordinary citizens, children, aid workers, or missionaries), is endangered by the hostile acts or intent of an opponent. Whether the opponent is armed is relevant to the self-defense analysis, but does not solely settle the issue. The key factor is whether a combatant reasonably believes his or her life (or the life of a protected person) to be in danger; for example, an enemy combatant may appear to have a weapon, even though he is unarmed. If the friendly combatant reasonably fears for his life or that of a protected person, deadly force is permitted and the defensive killing is not unlawful.

    Even so, discussion of the location of bin Ladin’s weapon and whether he might have been wearing a suicide vest are utterly irrelevant: engaging bin Ladin with deadly force is most appropriately viewed as grounded on the second rationale: jus in bello.

    - The law pertaining to the conduct of hostilities (jus in bello), which has developed since antiquity and includes certain provisions of the modern Geneva and Hague conventions, permits the sanctioned killing of an opponent in an armed conflict, regardless of whether he is armed at the moment he is engaged. So long as the opponent meets the minimum criteria to be regarded as a combatant (even an unlawful combatant), he may be engaged with deadly force, even if he is separated from his weapon. He may be killed while sleeping, eating, taking a shower, cleaning his weapon, meditating, or standing on his head. It is his status as an enemy combatant, not his activity at the moment of engagement, which is dispositive.

    Osama bin Ladin was an enemy combatant – again, full stop. His status as a virtual enemy of the United States is grounded on several factors: his declaration of war (fatwa) by Al Qaeda, of which he was the nominal chief, against the United States; the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) of September 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-40); and, most likely, declaration of a state of hostilities (essentially, a state of “war”) by the President against an opposing belligerent: Al Qaeda, its footsoldiers, and its leaders. The qualifier “most likely” indicates that if the President has, in fact, declared Al Qaeda to be a hostile, belligerent force, the designation probably would be classified and non-public. It is also superfluous, as Congress supplied the necessary authority in the AUMF to make combat actions against Al Qaeda lawful. They described a category of combatants who may be targeted by U.S. forces, and Osama bin Ladin fell squarely into that category more precisely than any other person in the world. Targeting bin Ladin was based on bin Ladin simply being bin Ladin: his conduct as he stared down the wrong end of an MP-5 was immaterial.

    Once designated a hostile enemy combatant, there are only two ways a combatant can be exempted from lawful targeting: by manifesting a clear and unequivocal intent to surrender, and by becoming wounded or otherwise incapacitated and incapable of resistance (hors d’combat). There is no evidence bin Ladin was wounded prior to administration of the lethal force which ended his life. Moreover, U.S. forces engaged in armed conflict are under no obligation to give an enemy combatant a chance to surrender; the enemy combatant must practically force his surrender on the U.S. force by manifesting it clearly, timely, and in a manner which enables U.S. forces to discontinue the use of lethal force. At this instant, a shield of legal protection descends around him, and U.S. forces are obligated to treat him humanely and consistent with the laws of armed conflict pertaining to detainees. Until the shield is present, triggered by manifest surrender, it is absent. Without the shield that only he could initiate through his surrenderous conduct, bin Ladin remained a legitimate target and was treated so by the assaulting U.S. force.

    Bin Ladin’s death was a triumph for the American intelligence community and the armed forces and provides, at long last, some solace to the victims of 9/11 and Al Qaeda’s other terroristic acts. His death will likely prove to be a strategic gain, and it eliminates a continuing threat to Americans at home and her citizens and forces abroad. It also was completely sanctioned under U.S. and international law. The intellectual energy spent obsessing and hand-wringing over bin Ladin’s death would be better spent on less clear-cut law of armed conflict issues facing the nation and the international community.

    Butch Bracknell is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. A career military lawyer with tours in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, he is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, DC.



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  8. #108
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    Default The SEAL Who Shot Bin Laden

    The SEAL Who Shot Bin Laden

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    Default CTC Sentinel on the Death of Usama bin Laden

    CTC Sentinel on the Death of Usama bin Ladin

    Entry Excerpt:

    West Point's Combating Terrorism Center has released a Special Issue of the CTC Sentinel on the death of Usama bin Ladin. The new issue can be found here.

    The Special Issue contains the following articles:

    - Bin Ladin’s Killing and its Effect on Al-Qa`ida: What Comes Next? By Bruce Hoffman
    - Special Operations Forces and the Raid Against Bin Ladin: Policymaker Considerations in Combating Terrorism by Michele L. Malvesti and Frances Fragos Townsend
    - How Bin Ladin’s Death Will Affect Al-Qa`ida’s Regional Franchises by Camille Tawil
    - The Impact of Bin Ladin’s Death on AQAP in Yemen by Gregory D. Johnsen
    - The Impact of Bin Ladin’s Death on AQIM in North Africa by Geoff D. Porter
    - Bin Ladin’s Death Through the Lens of Al-Qa`ida’s Confidential Secretary by Nelly Lahoud
    - Bin Ladin’s Location Reveals Limits of Liaison Intelligence Relationships by Charles Faddis
    - What the Experts Say... With Juan C. Zarate, Mark Kimmitt, Elliott Abrams, Michael F. Walker, Frank Taylor, Rohan Gunaratna, Dell L. Dailey and Thomas W. O’Connell



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    What do you guys think of the reported pornography found at the compound? Real, or an attempt to discredit OBL? I can see it going either way, honestly--I have no problem believing that hardcore zealots are prone to secretly violating their own strictures, but it's also a lot of bang for very few bucks in terms of de-martyring.

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    There were a lot of males in that compound. It would be abnormal not to find SOME pornography. On the other hand, if this is a PR effort, its wasted. Those who dont like Bin Laden will make fun of this too, those who support Bin Laden are sure its a lie. Either way it doesnt count for much.

  12. #112
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    Default Concur

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    There were a lot of males in that compound. It would be abnormal not to find SOME pornography. On the other hand, if this is a PR effort, its wasted. Those who dont like Bin Laden will make fun of this too, those who support Bin Laden are sure its a lie. Either way it doesnt count for much.
    absolutely... I hope we aren't that amateurish
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  13. #113
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    Default State Legal Adviser Koh defends legality of bin Laden raid

    State Legal Adviser Koh defends legality of bin Laden raid

    Entry Excerpt:

    In my Foreign Policy column from last Friday, I noted the muted defense given by Obama administration officials on the legality of the raid against Osama bin Laden. A wide range of international observers had questioned the raid’s legality and the U.S. government seemed restrained in its response to this criticism. In my column I noted the silence of Harold Koh, the U.S. State Department’s legal adviser, who in early 2010 had delivered a long speech defending the government’s use of lethal drone strikes against irregular adversaries against whom the United States is in a state of “armed conflict.”

    Today at the Opinio Juris blog, Koh finally made the U.S. government’s case. He quoted heavily from his 2010 drone speech. He also appended some analysis on the legal requirements for completing a battlefield surrender, which should be of interest to all infantrymen.

    In my column I surmised that the purpose of the administration’s reticence to thoroughly defend the legality of the bin Laden raid was to avoid declaring a checklist of requirements defining armed conflict status that might end up restricting the legal flexibility of the government against future irregular adversaries. Koh did not appear to add any disclaimers in this regard, so it remains to be seen whether some “lawfare” adversary of the United States will use Koh’s blog post against the government in the future.

    Nothing follows.



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    Default Post OBL: Afghanistan, Pakistan and South-Central Asia Strategy

    Post OBL: Afghanistan, Pakistan and South-Central Asia Strategy

    Entry Excerpt:

    Via e-mail from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) - New CNAS Report offers Afghanistan, Pakistan and South-Central Asia strategy post-Osama bin Laden.

    "The United States is at a strategic inflection point in South and Central Asia. The death of Osama bin Laden, together with the projected transition to a smaller U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, presents a new opportunity for the United States to protect its enduring interests in the region. In Beyond Afghanistan: A Regional Security Strategy for South and Central Asia, CNAS authors Lieutenant General David W. Barno, USA (Ret.), Andrew Exum and Matthew Irvine identify key priorities for the United States and the key components of a regional strategy in light of fast-changing current events."
    Beyond Afghanistan: A Regional Security Strategy for South and Central Asia - Full PDF



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    Default Current Books on Pakistan, Shiism, and Saudi Arabia: Thinking Beyond Usama Bin Laden

    Current Books on Pakistan, Shiism, and Saudi Arabia: Thinking Beyond Usama Bin Laden

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    Current Books on Pakistan, Shiism, and Saudi Arabia: Thinking Beyond Usama Bin Laden
    by Youssef Aboul-Enein

    Download the Full Article: Current Books on Pakistan, Shiism, and Saudi Arabia: Thinking Beyond Usama Bin Laden

    I spend a significant amount of time conducting seminars on Islam, Islamist Political Theories, and Militant Islamist Groups to units deploying to the Middle East, as well as to leaders attending the National Defense University. Part of the benefits of teaching, is a requirement to keep current on books recently published about the region. I hope to give you an overview of books I enjoyed and others that were much more challenging and do not garner my immediate recommendation. Three current books will be featured in this review essay, one each on Pakistan, Shiism, and Saudi Arabia. Let us begin with a book that gets my vote as required reading for 2011, Anatol Lieven’s new book on Pakistan.

    Download the Full Article: Current Books on Pakistan, Shiism, and Saudi Arabia: Thinking Beyond Usama Bin Laden

    Commander Aboul-Enein is author of “Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat,” (Naval Institute Press, 2010). He is Adjunct Islamic Studies Chair at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) and Senior Counter-Terrorism Advisor at the Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism. Commander Aboul-Enein wishes to thank the National Defense University Librarians for directing him to a few of these books. Good teaching demands great librarians. Finally he wishes to thank his ICAF colleague CAPT Chan Swallow, USN for his edits that enhanced this review and more importantly his discussion of these books.



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    Default With friends like these....

    Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 -- 10:32 PM EDT
    -----

    Pakistan Arrests C.I.A. Informants Who Aided Bin Laden Raid

    Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to American officials.

    Pakistan’s detention of five C.I.A. informants, including a Pakistani Army major who officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in the weeks before the raid, is the latest evidence of the fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan. It comes at a time when the Obama administration is seeking Pakistan’s support in brokering an endgame in the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

    The fate of the C.I.A. informants arrested in Pakistan is unclear, but American officials said that the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, raised the issue when he travelled to Islamabad last week to meet with Pakistani military and intelligence officers.

    Read More:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/wo...cy.html?emc=na
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-15-2011 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Copied for continuity to this thread from the Working with Pakistan thread

  17. #117
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    Default With friends like these....

    Bill,

    Thanks for posting that. It just shows that patience will be rewarded.

    On the 4th May 2011 I noted a small detail in The Guardian's report on the OBL raid:
    Note the nearest neighbour's house was occupied by a Pakistani Army major.
    The fuller quote from the article:
    But there was no sign of life from a nearby property, about 50 metres from Bin Laden's back wall, with a high perimeter wall and two watchtowers. Neighbours said it had been built three years ago by a man whose family has long owned property in the area. The nameplate read: Major Amir Aziz. Locals said he was a serving Pakistan army officer. Despite repeated rings on the doorbell, he refused to answer.
    The latest article has:
    ..including a Pakistani Army major who officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting Bin Laden’s compound..
    If all true then it makes the point human sources have a vital role even when hi-tech techniques are available.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-15-2011 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Copied for continuity to this thread from the Working with Pakistan thread
    davidbfpo

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    Default Molding Perceptions: American Engagement with the Media after the Bin Laden Raid

    Molding Perceptions: American Engagement with the Media after the Bin Laden Raid

    Entry Excerpt:

    Molding Perceptions: American Engagement with the Media after the Bin Laden Raid
    by Marno de Boer

    Immediately after the successful conclusion of the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound the United States government and its agencies fed the press and public alike with information about the event. Two trends stand out in this information flow; the rapidity with which it was delivered, and the fact that much of it later turned out to be incorrect. While it is not yet possible to determine whether this was the result of a deliberate policy, it was highly successful in getting a favorable story across during the first few days after the action, the period crucial for forming people’s perceptions. In this way, the American media policy, while in some ways an evolution of prior engagements with the media, also began to show a likening to the ones successfully adopted by regular and irregular opponents alike in the last decade. This article argues that this new policy was fairly successful and might be a worthwhile model for dealing with the press during future events.



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    Default Getting bin Laden

    Getting bin Laden

    Entry Excerpt:

    Getting bin Laden: What Happened that Night in Abbottabad by Nicholas Schmidle, The New Yorker. BLUF: "... Obama and his advisers went into a second room, down the hall, where others involved in the raid—including logisticians, crew chiefs, and SEAL alternates—had assembled. Obama presented the team with a Presidential Unit Citation and said, “Our intelligence professionals did some amazing work. I had fifty-fifty confidence that bin Laden was there, but I had one-hundred-per-cent confidence in you guys. You are, literally, the finest small-fighting force that has ever existed in the world.” The raiding team then presented the President with an American flag that had been on board the rescue Chinook. Measuring three feet by five, the flag had been stretched, ironed, and framed. The SEALs and the pilots had signed it on the back; an inscription on the front read, “From the Joint Task Force Operation Neptune’s Spear, 01 May 2011: ‘For God and country. Geronimo.’ ”"



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  20. #120
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    Default Getting Bin Laden What happened that night in Abbottabad

    A well-written article from the New Yorker magazine, hat tip to Abu M; nothing startling IMHO:http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...urrentPage=all

    (Added later)

    A review which highlights:
    The raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan was a mission to kill him, and there was “never any question” he would be captured alive, one of those directly involved has claimed.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...the-start.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-01-2011 at 09:24 PM.
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