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WikiLeaks Stratfor Emails: Leak Suggests Pakistan Knew Bin Laden's Hiding Place

First Posted: 02/29/2012 10:01 am EST Updated: 03/16/2013 1:06 pm EDT

Did Pakistani army officials know Osama Bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad?

Emails from the security think tank Stratfor, released by WikiLeaks on Monday, suggest that up to 12 Pakistani intelligence and army officials were aware of Bin Laden's presence in the Pakistani city.

The emails released do not identify the agents, but show that were mid- to senior level officials in the Pakistani military and intelligence service ISI.

From the Stratfor emails:


On 5/13/2011 2:27 PM, burton@stratfor.com wrote:

Same response as before:
Mid to senior level ISI and Pak Mil with one retired Pak Mil
General that had knowledge of the OBL arrangements and safe
house.

Names unk to me and not provided.

Specific ranks unk to me and not provided.

But, I get a very clear sense we (US intel) know names and
ranks.

Osama Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011, in a compound in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad. Pakistan denies that the country's officials and military were aware of the Al Qaeda leader's whereabouts, according to the BBC.

"There has been intense suspicion over how much Pakistani authorities knew of Osama bin Laden's whereabouts but never any definitive proof - or at least none that has been made public," Gordon Corera, security correspondent for BBC, explains. "There's no smoking gun, as one Western intelligence official told me."

Commenting on the WikiLeaks release, spokesman for the Pakistan army Athar Abbas told news channel Al-Arabiya that the allegations were untrue. “They are nonsense and not credible,” he reportedly said.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, it is difficult to determine the trustworthiness of the information in the email. "With some observers speculating that, because Stratfor itself did not publish the data, they may have not deemed the intelligence report authentic," the Monitor writes.

WikiLeaks announced on Monday it had obtained 5 million emails from the Texas-based security think tank Stratfor. The emails are part of what the organization calls "The Global Intelligence Files" and purportedly "reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article mistakenly said that WikiLeaks had obtained 5,000 emails from the security think tank Stratfor. Wikileaks obtained 5 million Stratfor emails. This error has been corrected.

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Filed by Eline Gordts  |