In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Grande Strategy

What Possibly Happened in Abbottabad and What it All Means

5/9/2011
Meinhaj Hussain, m.hussain@grandestrategy.com

Information from various sources now perhaps allow us to make a few guesses as to what possibly transpired has been happening in the recent Ossama Bin Laden episode. The following are some of the information available:

1. That this operation was waiting in the wings for a couple of months.
2. That the ISI Director General, Pasha, had recently visited his CIA counterpart and the conversation did not go well at all, so much so that General Pasha returned immediately. That he raised the issue of a large number of CIA operatives in Pakistan.
3. That the Pakistan government took its time to formulate a response.
4. That even if the Americans evaded radars, if they were in the compound for 40 minutes and then had to go back by helicopter, they should have easily been intercepted by the PAF, if not the Pakistan Army.
5. That Ossama has not been known to hang around unarmed and without guards.
6. That stealth helicopters were used that are a secret black project weapon system that the US would think many times before using in territories that can cause their technology to end up in hands they do not wish.
7. That other conventional helicopters were also part of the operation.
8. That the US executed Ossama and did not wish to take him to court.
9. That Pakistani radars were turned off or jammed.

Some conclusions that can be drawn are:
1. That without Pakistani insider help OBL would never have been able to locate himself in Abbottabad, a military town. I have lived in Abbottabad for a year and I know that it is most unlikely that OBL would have been able to locate himself there without "insider help"; help from at least low-t0-mid-ranking ISI / Army officers.

2. That OBL was unarmed and without guards, means that he was possibly spending time with family before going back to fight. Possibly a lull before the Spring offensive. OBL is not the type to sit back and watch from a safe distance, his character amply demonstrated during the Afghan war has always been hands on, and one ready to dig a ditch at a moment's notice. Given that the US was watching this place for 6 months or more, it does not make sense why they would not have attacked earlier to get such a valuable target, lest he escapes. It makes more sense to think that they were waiting for him to visit his family. Consider that you are a CIA officer and you know OBL is located in spot X. Are you going to wait for 6 months and allow him the possibility of escaping? That would not make sense.

3. The possibility is then that either the ISI / Army officers involved in helping him or Al-Qaeda members captured by Pakistan / United States betrayed him.

4. That the United States did not initially inform Pakistan about this raid as otherwise Pakistani establishment would have to be suicidal to have him captured in Abbottabad. It would not make sense for that to happen. It would have made sense to have him captured and then have him found at some convenient border area. The repercussions, as they have amply shown vis-a-vis in particular, India, would be too great for Pakistan Army at least to have agreed to this arrangement.

5. That Pakistan's radars were turned off or jammed implies that either the CIA was able to have insiders turn off the radar systems or that they were jammed or turned off remotely by the CIA. Given that a number of radars, particularly in this area are from US / Western manufacturers, it is plausible that the US would be able to do so with relative ease.

Both cases would be of major concern to Pakistan. In the former case, the CIA has satisfactorily infiltrated the Pakistan Army and Air Force. This is plausible given the filtering of "religiously inclined" officers from the force and the active encouragement of the most secular, opportunist and amoral recruits, who are by a viscous circle, more likely to apply to the present armed forces in the first place.

In the latter case, Pakistan's C4I has been compromised and would need to be rebuilt. It may be that a backdoor through American equipment have compromised not only the assets of Western origin, but also the other assets. While this scenario is also a case of major concern, it is the former case which is far more dangerous: hardware can come and go, but if you lose the integrity of your men, there will be no hope.

"Because Allah will never change the Grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things)."
(Al-Quran, 8:53. Translation: Yusuf Ali)


6. That the United States only needed surprise in the first stage of getting the helicopters to the location, or at least half-way across, so that there is no time for any moles to move the target. Thus the choice of stealth helicopters. Once they were reasonably close to the target, it was possible for them to inform the Pakistani establishment and present them with a fait accompli.

7. That the loss of one of these choppers during the operation is not being understood by the Pakistani establishment. It is most vital for them to hand this over to their research establishment or to the Chinese, preferably the latter. The stealth materials used is worth at least a couple of hundred million dollars worth of research. China will be more than happy to oblige and to return in kind. Stealthy JF-17 Block IIs and the rumored Chinese F-35-equivalent single-engined stealth planes would now be within easy reach for Pakistan, if not the UCAVs this author has proposed.

This is the best technology they have and at least some of it is now in our hands, there is no need to be overwhelmed by a "what if they have more such technologies in the bag". We'll deal with them as they come.

8. The future is simultaneously very dark and very opportune for Pakistan. After all:

Trouble is only an opportunity in work clothes - Henry J. Kaiser
Those of us who have been warning Pakistan of why the US was really in Afghanistan and have been pooh-poohed as merely alarmists and conspiracy theorists by our pro-Western, secular brethren (who incidentally call the shots), now seem to find our voices to be more substantial. If things continue as they are, Pakistan will be destroyed. And it would deserve to be destroyed. If an Islamic revolution signaled by young officers is to save Pakistan, this is the last train station for them. The young officer's revolt after 1971 came too late, had it come 2 years earlier, it would have saved the country. Will this one ever come or will it come on time? Unlikely, but we hope, insh'Allah. I would like to take this opportunity to call our ISI brother Pasha to do the right thing. If you can stand up to the CIA, you better be able to do the right thing. here as well. They are now gunning for you and they fully intend to make an example out of you.

9. What Pakistan needs to do at the earliest is to hunt down all the CIA agents and well, feed them to the fishes. She needs to immediately halt all cooperation and close the supply route and airspace into Afghanistan. She needs to arm the "right" Taliban (Mullah Omar / Gulbuddin Hikmathyar / Jalaludding Haqqani) with SAM systems and night-vision goggles. If circumstances call for it, she needs to conduct pre-emptive strikes before the US attempts any further problems for her.

10. I call on all Pakistanis to heed this warning from this Bangladeshi friend: You will not survive unless you act now. This will be worse than 1971. I mean well and want you to succeed. The Muslim Ummah wishes you well and is praying for you to succeed. We will do a lot more than just pray, but the initiative is yours to take or squander. Do not squander it.
Vision Without Glasses

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