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May 2, 2011

Tension in Pakistan Intensified

Navy SEALs Team

Read about Seal Team Six.
by Jake Tapper, ABC News
"The Navy SEALs team that conducted this operation was the legendary Team Six, aka DevGru, or the “Naval Special Warfare Development Group,” flown into Pakistan by helicopter teams  from the 160th Special Operations Air Regiment, part of the Joint Special Operations Command....
"For years, from detainees at Gitmo, the CIA had the nom de guerre of the courier, but they didn’t have his true name until 2007. Intel spotted him in early 2009 – it took a while to follow him . Last August when intel found the compound the reaction was along the lines of “Oh my God who are they hiding here?” a [sic] official said, recalling definite recognition this was a significant find. Congressional leaders were briefed about the compound in December.
"One possible complication: While CIA contractor Ray Davis was in the Pakistani prison there were concerns about his safety were this mission to be conducted.
"Davis’s March 16 release cleared that possible obstacle to the operation -- a kill mission, with the clear objective to kill bin Laden."
According to this story, the CIA had the name of Osama's courier as early as 2007, had located him more than two years ago, and followed him to the walled mansion where Osama was allegedly hiding in August of 2010. If we look at a map of Pakistan, we find that the mansion was in Abbottabad, 75 miles northeast of the capital of Islamabad. Lahore, where Raymond Davis was captured and imprisoned, is about 235 miles by car southeast of the capital city.

According to an article in the Washington Post in January, "Davis arrived in Pakistan in September 2009 as a 'technical adviser' to the consulate in Lahore, according to sources who said his job was to assist in vetting visa applicants. His initial three-month diplomatic visa, listing his birth year as 1974 and a home address in Las Vegas, has been repeatedly extended at U.S. request since then." The same report revealed that an embassy statement said Davis "was assigned to the embassy in Islamabad and was working under a diplomatic passport with a visa that expires in June 2012."

In 2003, according to Josh Rogin of The Cable: Foreign Policy, Osama appointed Abu Faraj al-Libbi his official messenger between himself and al-Quaeda members in Pakistan, necessitating a move with his family to Abbottabad, where Osama had built the "compound," eight times larger than the next biggest house in the affluent area--a neighborhood inhabited by many retired Pakistani military officials--where he has been in hiding for the last six years. Not long after moving into the compound in 2005, al-Libbi was captured, but a trusted assistant of his, who was also a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, took over the courier role. After identifying this man, it took intelligence officials four years to be able to trace him to the compound where he and his brother were living in August of last year.

Since that time, the Navy Seal team who killed Osama have been engaged in very secret training exercises in Afghanistan, preparing for the raid, which had to be delayed because of the flap that recently occurred in Lahore, involving CIA asset Raymond Davis, who apparently had no connection with or knowledge of the courier tracked to Abbottabad. Richard Holbrooke's replacement, Marc Grossman, arrived in Pakistan two days prior to the raid on Osama in order to work out details of a "strategic dialogue scheduled to be held in Islamabad at the end of May, and to attend a trilateral meeting on Afghanistan with his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts" to sort out the tension that resulted after Davis' killing of two Pakistani citizens.

Daniel Markey, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, theorized to Rogin: "This really strikes at the myth of the strength of the Pakistani military and intelligence services. Either they are incompetent or they are actively complicit. Either way is no good so there is no win....Given how really angry they've been with us in recent months, the idea they would see this as an important opportunity to mend fences just isn't likely."

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