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  • Afghanistan 'had Abbottabad lead four years ago'

    Osama bin Laden death: Afghanistan 'had Abbottabad lead four years ago'

    Afghanistan's former intelligence chief says Pakistan's then president Pervez Musharraf angrily rejected Osama hideout tip


    Jon Boone in Kabul
    guardian.co.uk, Thursday 5 May 2011 18.25 BST

    Afghan intelligence believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an area close to Abbottabad four years ago but no action was taken after the claim was furiously rejected by Pakistan's president, Afghanistan's former intelligence chief has said.

    Agents working for the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the country's intelligence service, worked out that the world's most wanted man must be inside Pakistan proper, rather than the semi-autonomous tribal areas, as early in 2004, Amrullah Saleh told the Guardian.

    He said they believed Bin Laden must be there based on "thousands of interrogation reports" and the assumption that Osama "a millionaire with multiple wives and no background of toughness" would not be living in a tent.

    "I was pretty sure he was in the settled areas of Pakistan because in 2005 it was still very easy to infiltrate the tribal areas, and we had massive numbers of informants there," he said. "They could find any Arab but notBin Laden."

    Their intelligence became more precise in 2007 when they believed he was hiding in Manshera, a town a short distance from Abbottabad where the NDS had identified two al-Qaida safe houses.

    But the former spy chief said that Pervez Musharraf, then president of Pakistan, was outraged at the suggestion that Bin Laden was hiding in such a prominent part of the country.

    In a meeting with Musharraf and Hamid Karzai the Pakistani president became furious and smashed his fist down on the table. "He said, 'Am I the president of the Republic of Banana?'" Saleh recalled. "Then he turned to President Karzai and said, 'Why have you have brought this Panjshiri guy to teach me intelligence?'"

    He said Karzai had to intervene as Musharraf got increasingly angry and began to physically threaten Saleh.

    Afghanistan's former top spy who has long been a hate figure in Islamabad among officials who believed he was implacably anti-Pakistani also said he had no doubts that Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban movement, was hiding in a safe house owned by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Pakistani spy agency, in the city of Karachi.

    "He is protected by ISI, General Pasha [Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, director-general of the ISI] knows as I am talking to you where is Mullah Omar and he keeps daily briefs from his officers about the location of senior Taliban leaders, simple," he said.

    Saleh was speaking to the Guardian soon after addressing a rally of several thousand Afghans in Kabul organised as a show of strength of what he called Afghanistan's "anti-Taliban constituency" who are alarmed at the prospect of peace talks with insurgents.

    The killing of Bin Laden, who was sheltered by the Taliban regime in the 1990s, has prompted heady speculation that an "end game" to the 10-year conflict is now at hand, with the Afghan government and the Taliban-led insurgency striking a deal.

    But "deal making" were dirty words to the crowd gathered in a huge tent in Kabul lined with banners saying "We didn't vote for Karzai to make deals" and "Don't sacrifice justice for dealing".

    Speeches were interrupted several times by chants from the crowd of "Death to the Taliban! Death to the suicide bombers! Death to the Punjabis!" a reference to the protesters' view that the Taliban are under the control of the ISI.

    Saleh is a burly and comparatively young man who earned the respect of the CIA during his sometimes brutal leadership of Afghanistan's intelligence service. He received a rapturous reception from the flag-waving crowd when he marched into the tent

    Saleh lambasted Karzai for calling the Taliban disaffected "brothers".

    "They are not my brother, they are not your brother those are our enemies," he declared, to cheers.

    Saleh warned the government that his movement would not remain content with peaceful demonstrations if Karzai did not change course. Later he told the Guardian that if Karzai "sold out in order to bring the Taliban" there would be no choice but to "rise up".

    "We have been exposed to a lot of weapons, it is not very difficult to resort to fighting and create influence," he said.

    Osama bin Laden death: Afghanistan 'had Abbottabad lead four years ago' | World news | guardian.co.uk

  • #2
    Amrullah Saleh is without doubt the most formidable leader to come out of Afghanistan in a generation. Karzai had better watch out: if there is a fast withdrawl from Afghanistan by the west Saleh will eat Karzai and his supporters alive. I can't think of anyone better to lead Afghanistan into the future.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

    Leibniz

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    • #3
      indeed, one of the few competent men that karzai had working for him.
      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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      • #4
        I'm seeing BBC's reports that mentioned that one of OBL's wife claim to have lived with OBL in the same room for the past 5 years.

        Regarding Saleh, I wonder how much he can threaten Karazai's position. Saleh will probably not win the ballot box, which then suggests a coup. I wonder how member nations of the ISAF would react to it (especially the US).

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        • #5
          It's not who votes but who counts.It's not the ballots but the bullets.
          Those who know don't speak
          He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

          Comment


          • #6
            Saleh

            Saleh is a polarizing figure who's unquestionably on an assassination list in Rawalpindi and, possibly, Kabul. There may be others as well interested in whacking him.

            He knows too much and is a firm and outspoken opponent of Pakistan. I'll be pleased and surprised if he's alive five years from now.

            "Saleh warned the government that his movement would not remain content with peaceful demonstrations if Karzai did not change course. Later he told the Guardian that if Karzai "sold out in order to bring the Taliban" there would be no choice but to "rise up".

            "We have been exposed to a lot of weapons, it is not very difficult to resort to fighting and create influence
            ," he said"

            This very likely is no empty threat. He is, indeed, Panjashiri, and that makes him very much N.A. material-aside from his long association with Ahmad Shah Masoud.

            There will be civil war. Should Saleh survive that long he'll be a relevant figure in such.
            "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
            "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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            • #7
              We closed the other thread because it got tiresome about who knew what when. This thread is about an Afghan intel chief.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by S2 View Post
                Saleh is a polarizing figure who's unquestionably on an assassination list in Rawalpindi and, possibly, Kabul. There may be others as well interested in whacking him.

                He knows too much and is a firm and outspoken opponent of Pakistan. I'll be pleased and surprised if he's alive five years from now.

                "Saleh warned the government that his movement would not remain content with peaceful demonstrations if Karzai did not change course. Later he told the Guardian that if Karzai "sold out in order to bring the Taliban" there would be no choice but to "rise up".

                "We have been exposed to a lot of weapons, it is not very difficult to resort to fighting and create influence
                ," he said"

                This very likely is no empty threat. He is, indeed, Panjashiri, and that makes him very much N.A. material-aside from his long association with Ahmad Shah Masoud.

                There will be civil war. Should Saleh survive that long he'll be a relevant figure in such.
                Sir,the old Massoud had a good hand at picking men.I don't know how much Saleh knows about fighting,but he definetely knows how to relate with foreigners and how to collect and use intellligence.However,even Massoud got blown up,so I hope this new one will be both more careful with foreign journalists and luckier.We kinda need him.

                Amazing how young men prosper during times of troubles.Massoud also rose to proeminence while still in his 30's.
                Those who know don't speak
                He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

                Comment


                • #9
                  I saw PBS Frontline interview with Saleh. You can visit PBS Frontline website and click on transcript and get a feel for him. What is notable about him that he speaks in very plain language, no BSing around. You get what you get. Straight talk. I admire that in a man. But in the political realm, that can be quite fatal. It is a necessity of being a politican whether you like it or not in that you be tactful and discreet. Because what it does, it allows you room to manuever around political obstacles when being straightforward may paint you into corners.

                  For one thing, I sure hope that he has a very good bodyguard contigent. ISI and the Taliban are gunning for him now.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by astralis View Post
                    indeed, one of the few competent men that karzai had working for him.
                    One Afghan after Massoud who has good of Afghanistan at heart.

                    What is the current role/relevance of Saleh in Afghan politics? AFAIK, he was marginalized by Karzai after the jirga attack last year.

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                    • #11
                      In essence he's trying to create a grass roots movement to support his strategic vision wrt Afghan government.On the outside he's a political activist.What's really in his mind is probably the presidency.IMO he kinda deserves it.
                      The big problem there is that his message reaches only portions of the population.He sends a national unity message in the land of tribes,where the Army and police will listen to their warlord before listening to anyone in Kabul.And the people will listen to those holding a gun at their head before those promising them a normal life.
                      IMV,the only thing that can be achieved realistically in the log run is a de facto renewal of the NA,with a de facto partition of the country.
                      Those who know don't speak
                      He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        YouTube - Talk to Jazeera - Amrullah Saleh - 30 Sep 08 - Part 1 YouTube - Talk to Jazeera - Amrullah Saleh - 30 Sep 08 - Part 2

                        It's an interview from 2008 with Saleh.Could have been yesterday.
                        Those who know don't speak
                        He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by astralis View Post
                          indeed, one of the few competent men that karzai had working for him.
                          How was he 'competent' in the traditional sense of the word, when much of the BS intel reports Afghanistan issued (and the US used per wikileaks) were absurd concoctions implicating the ISI in almost everything under the sun in Afghanistan?

                          Perhaps you mean 'competent' in that he was favorably disposed to advancing a US agenda by hook or by crook.

                          That said, everything I have read on him does indicate that his methods and organization were relatively successful in taking on various Taliban factions, even though he crossed the line in fabricating intel implicating the ISI and PA.
                          Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                          https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Fine,let's agree with your view ,for a moment.

                            You'll have to look no further than the interview I posted,part 2 ~6'' when he mentions a few things about the location of OBL as being in Pakistan as opposed to Pakistani narrative at the time(mind you,that was 2008).Sorry to tell you,but by your own government's words and considering very recent history,he's right(thus competent enough) while your ISI is wrong.Why on God's green Earth would anyone trust anything out of a Pakistani mouth,until you prove to be ''competent''?

                            He has a better track record.I'll stick with his story,until you prove him wrong.

                            As you can see,I've not mentioned US or NATO anywhere.Just him and Pakistan.Really,you don't want to hear what non-US officers have to say about certain things going on,of which ''Pakistan has no knowledge''.But maybe I'm a lunatic.They said those stories while having a beer.Bloody drunkards,they must have lied,lied,lied about what they saw
                            Those who know don't speak
                            He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mihais View Post
                              Fine,let's agree with your view ,for a moment.

                              You'll have to look no further than the interview I posted,part 2 ~6'' when he mentions a few things about the location of OBL as being in Pakistan as opposed to Pakistani narrative at the time(mind you,that was 2008).Sorry to tell you,but by your own government's words and considering very recent history,he's right(thus competent enough) while your ISI is wrong.Why on God's green Earth would anyone trust anything out of a Pakistani mouth,until you prove to be ''competent''?
                              Why would I believe him after all of the fabricated intel reports issued by his intelligence agency, and the fact that Brahamdegh Bugti other Baluch terrorists were being sheltered in Kabul and launching terrorist attacks against Pakistan, and Karzai, Saleh and the US denied that was true, until wikileaks exposed them all?

                              He has a better track record.I'll stick with his story,until you prove him wrong.
                              A better track record at being a liar, fabricating intel and 'officially' sheltering terrorists? Absolutely.

                              I do think that Musharraf's response towards the presence of Saleh is illuminating of how flawed US policy was in Afghanistan after the invasion. Not only was Pakistani input and Pakistani security concerns not taken into account when setting up a new government, security and intelligence establishment, but individuals that were virulently anti-Pakistan were put in several influential positions in the security and intelligence establishments. It set the stage for Pakistani distrust of US/Afghan intentions and halfhearted support for the new Afghan setup, especially when the US lost interest in Afghanistan yet again and chose to wage war in Iraq.
                              Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                              https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

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