SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Global & General > Global Issues & Threats

Global Issues & Threats Trans-national issues and actors. Culture and the Clash of Civilizations.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-02-2011   #41
Entropy
Council Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,457
Default

Located the compound in Google Earth:

34°10'9.90"N
73°14'33.94"E

Link to location on Google maps.

This compound is missing from imagery taken in 2001, but is present by 2005 (the most recent GE imagery available).
__________________
Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #42
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,344
Default The 'Compound' factor Part 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
That's interesting stuff David, thanks. Hard to believe OBL could exist there for so long without inside assistance of some kind from the Pakistan military or ISI.
Entropy,

If no-one knows he is there, what help is needed from 'inside assistance' ?

Without checking with my advisers I would also expect many people who can afford such a compound and have lived in NWFP / FATA have moved out or have a second home. So the appearance of the compound would not have attracted comment.

Discreet occupiers? In Pakistan many follow the rule that discretion decreases vulnerability to preying eyes and actions - common criminals and some of the state's agents working privately. Plus many from those areas are traditionally more socially conservative than other parts of Pakistan.

You also have to consider that a low profile compound could be a Pakistani state agency facility, owned by an ex-state agent and a non-Pakistani occupier. Just a few words and some theatre would keep neighbours away.

Addition: some of my comments are also on this BBC report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13257338
__________________
davidbfpo

Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-02-2011 at 08:46 PM. Reason: added link
davidbfpo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #43
Entropy
Council Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,457
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
While I think it is certainly possible that Pakistani Army and/or ISI elements knew where he was, I think it is equally likely that they didn't. UBL seems to have gone to great lengths to limit the possibility of leaks (no landline or internet, controlled access, purpose-built villa with few windows, high walls, use of only a few trusted couriers, etc.) Why compromise all that with the risk that someone in the Army or ISI might get tempted by that $25m reward and provide a tip-off?

I'm not sure that 800m from a military academy is necessarily a more difficult place to hide out than any other urban area.
Rex,

Points well taken. However, if the BBC is correcting in their report that this location is within the military cantonment zone then that could indicate some inside help. Also, to be clear, there is a big difference between an institutional decision by the Army/ISI to harbor UBL (something I don't think was the case at all) and sympathetic insiders who acted on their own and used their position within those organizations to make this possible. It seems to me that is definitely a possibility.
__________________
Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #44
Entropy
Council Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,457
Default

Quote:
If no-one knows he is there, what help is needed from 'inside assistance' ?

Without checking with my advisers I would also expect many people who can afford such a compound and have lived in NWFP / FATA have moved out or have a second home. So the appearance of the compound would not have attracted comment.
David,

If this compound was built for the purpose of housing UBL and it was built in a military area then it seems reasonable to conclude that someone with military/security ties built it. Also, if it's true this was in the military cantonment zone, then UBL's couriers would have spent the past 5+ years going through Pakistani military checkpoints. That doesn't prove there was collusion, of course, but it does raise some questions.
__________________
Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #45
Entropy
Council Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,457
Default

Here are some Pentagon slides of the compound.

Now on SWJ Blog:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/201...abay-compound/
__________________
Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-02-2011 at 08:32 PM. Reason: 2nd link added by Moderator
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #46
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,344
Default There's another thread

AdamG posted earlier and I moved it into this thread. He has asked it be kept separate: 'OBL's death & Terrorism's next move':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=13217
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #47
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,344
Default The 'Compound' factor Part 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
David,

If this compound was built for the purpose of housing UBL and it was built in a military area then it seems reasonable to conclude that someone with military/security ties built it. Also, if it's true this was in the military cantonment zone, then UBL's couriers would have spent the past 5+ years going through Pakistani military checkpoints. That doesn't prove there was collusion, of course, but it does raise some questions.
I'm trying to think of an American illustration. The compound is adjacent to and near a military installation, say Davis-Mothan AFB across the road and in a housing area that is primarily for USAF staff. A housing area called a cantonment does not mean it is military owned or controlled and maybe within a security zone, when the level of security is raised is patrolled or VCP'd. I am sure you know of residential areas almost surrounded by US military bases.

As for the passage of couriers I expect them to be unarmed, possibly on foot or a motorcycle and able to pass unhindered. Arrive in a car less predictable and vulnerable to a cursory check / rummage.

To me very few questions.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #48
Ray
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Calcutta, India
Posts: 1,124
Default

The killing of Osama bin Laden (OBL) was a good job done.

That the Pakistan ISI protects the terrorists of all status is now well established since OBL was in a military cantonment.

Cantonments, as per the British rules and being followed in the subcontinent, are run by the Military Estates Officer (a civil servant) and the Senior Most Army Officer is the Chairman of the Cantonment Board. He is responsible for all matters, policing, garbage disposal, environment, parks, housing laws and so on.

Given the popular support Imran Khan had whipped up whereby for two days the NATO supply line was blocked and the US and Pakistan Govt given a notice of 30 days to stop all Drone attacks, the killing of OBL was ideal to divert attention from the main issue of Drone attacks and wanting the US out of Pakistan, Drones and all. I believe the US is in the process of winding up Drone operations from their base(s) in Pakistan.

It would be prudent to watch how the Pakistani masses take OBL's killing.

On it will depend how the cat shall jump.

Will there be revenge attacks within Pakistan, in the neighbourhood or even in the West is to be seen.

If the attacks are on the West, Pakistan will be up a gum tree.

Last edited by Ray; 05-02-2011 at 06:06 PM.
Ray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #49
Ray
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Calcutta, India
Posts: 1,124
Default

Hundreds join first Pakistan rally to honour Osama bin Laden
AFP | May 2, 2011, 09.39pm IST

Quote:
QUETTA, PAKISTAN: Hundreds took to the streets of Pakistan's city of Quetta on Monday to pay homage to Osama bin Laden, chanting death to America and setting fire to a US flag, witnesses and organisers said.

Angry participants belonging to a religious party in Quetta, the capital of southwestern province Baluchistan, were led by federal lawmaker Maulawi Asmatullah. They also torched a US flag before dispersing peacefully.
Quote:
"Bin Laden was the hero of the Muslim world and after his martyrdom he has won the title of great mujahed (Muslim fighter)," Asmatullah said.
Link
Ray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #50
bourbon
Council Member
 
bourbon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 902
Default

Here’s the guy who unwittingly live-tweeted the raid on Bin Laden
bourbon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #51
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

East Germany harbored West German left-wing terrorists (R.A.F.) - under the condition that
a) they don't ever leave East germany
b) they don't do anything related to R.A.F. again


Maybe Pakistan did the same and that's the reason for the near-complete separation of UBL from day-to-day AQ business?
Fuchs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #52
An Outsider
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
This is a great opportunity to declare victory and get out of the mess.
A pessimistic outlook from National Defense magazine:
http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.o...st.aspx?ID=404

Doesn't seem like the talking heads are headed in that direction right now.
An Outsider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011   #53
JarodParker
Council Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: People's Republic of California
Posts: 85
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I'm trying to think of an American illustration.
How about Quantico, VA?
Quote:
Quantico is a famous town in the state of Virginia in United States, which comes under the control of the Prince William County. The Quantico city is considered as the county seat of Prince William County and the city is located in the Metropolitan Area of Washington. The Marine Corps Base Quantico covers three sides of the Quantico city and the fourth side of the city is covered by the Potomac River.
Could someone get into the city of Quantico without tipping off the USMC? I would imagine so.
No amount of proof (photo, DNA, corpse etc) will convince the non-believers. So I think killing him on the spot and burial at sea were the best decisions they could've made under the circumstances. The following video will demonstrate my point... Exhibit A

Above all I'm really happy no US personnel got hurt. I look forward to hearing about follow-on operations that will be based on intel gathered from the hideout.
JarodParker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011   #54
ergomatic
Registered User
 
ergomatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Default actually...seems likely to me

my intuition, unencumbered by evidence or expertise, is that this went down pretty much exactly as described by the President and other administration officials. Given the level of OPSEC discipline shown by OBL in the past, I find it completely plausible that he could have installed himself in the compound with no help whatsoever from ISI or any other Pakistani government entity. Dude must have had one hell of a videogame collection, though....how do you keep from going completely stir-crazy, keeping yourself sequestered like that? The weak point is getting inside- any intel on when OBL took up residency?
ergomatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011   #55
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

Compound was built in 2005 afaik.

Btw, I read the firefight lasted for 40 minutes. Surprising.
Fuchs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011   #56
motorfirebox
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 273
Default

Given the compound's location, it seems like the most likely scenario is that OBL occupied it with the knowledge and possibly the assistance of the ISI. It's certainly possible that the ISI wasn't aware, but that strikes me as the more extraordinary claim.

The question of whether we found OBL with their help or despite it (assuming they knew) is a coin toss. OBL was a high value target to us, but his greatest value to AQ and its extended friends seems like maybe it lay mostly in the fact that we wanted him, with some possible secondary value as a figurehead or totem. If the ISI did know his location, that information would have been to them a really valuable bargaining chip (and if the ISI helped set him up in that compound, it was probably to lock him down for future use as such).
motorfirebox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011   #57
jmm99
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,021
Thumbs up One gone;

one more to go.

Boots on the ground; confirmation of the 2001 AUMF and the Laws of War.

Regards

Mike
jmm99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011   #58
blueblood
Council Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 123
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I'm trying to think of an American illustration. The compound is adjacent to and near a military installation, say Davis-Mothan AFB across the road and in a housing area that is primarily for USAF staff. A housing area called a cantonment does not mean it is military owned or controlled and maybe within a security zone, when the level of security is raised is patrolled or VCP'd. I am sure you know of residential areas almost surrounded by US military bases.

As for the passage of couriers I expect them to be unarmed, possibly on foot or a motorcycle and able to pass unhindered. Arrive in a car less predictable and vulnerable to a cursory check / rummage.

To me very few questions.
AFAIK, both Pakistan and India follow British cantonment rules which denies the building of any structure above two stories within 2 km radius. Even if they exists, they are most probably raised before the establishment of the military institution or in the case that the cantonment is established within city limits. Both the cases are invalid here.

Secondly, for the past few years Pakistani military establishments are being targeted by Taliban and other terrorist outfits. So, the question is that how come this mansion avoided scrutiny by Pakistani military or intelligence community.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Lahore_bombings

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_La...cademy_attacks

Last edited by blueblood; 05-03-2011 at 02:39 AM.
blueblood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011   #59
huskerguy7
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 137
Default ?

I'm just baffled by Pakistan's inability to "know" of OBL's presence. I've expressed my thoughts, but one thing just bugs me: the size of the mansion. The mansion is between a hospital and college, so there is no doubt a large amount of human traffic around the compound. According to various sources, it's 8 times the size of other buildings in the same area; it sticks out. How do members of the local population not notice the compound? I mean, if a house 8 times the size of my home was built a block away, I would definitely put forth the energy to find out who lives there any maybe what they do because it's just not normal.

Here's the thing. We can't begin chewing out Pakistan and telling them that we aren't going to work with them. That's equivalent to a road builder saying that he won't work with the Department of Roads. It just won't work.
huskerguy7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011   #60
motorfirebox
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 273
Default

Well, regarding the locals, I doubt they wanted to know. Possible results of knowing OBL is your next-door neighbor:

1) OBL's buddies kill you to keep you quiet.
2) The US blows up the whole compound and you're collateral damage.
3) The US sends in a team to kill OBL in person, and you have to worry about catching a stray round.

There's really no upside to knowing.
motorfirebox is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
afghanistan, al-qaeda, counter terrorism, counterterrorism, gwot, ideology, iraq, isi, jihad, osama bin laden, pakistan, special forces, special operations, terrorism

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bin Laden: before Abbottabad (merged thread) SWJED Global Issues & Threats 71 12-16-2013 04:31 PM
After the Bin Laden op, what is the impact? Not on terrorism. Merged thread Ray Global Issues & Threats 69 05-23-2012 12:51 PM
Before Abbottabad: hunting AQ leaders (merged thread) jcustis Adversary / Threat 69 03-16-2012 05:53 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation