Senate Armed Services chairman presses Pakistan: ‘They have a lot of explaining to do’
Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, wants answers from Pakistan officials on what they knew about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, and how long they knew he he was hiding in a suburb near the Pakistan’s capitol.
Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Seals Sunday during a raid on a million-dollar compound near Islamabad where it is thought that the al Qaeda leader had been hiding for years.
“The Pakistani Army and Intelligence have a lot of questions to answer given the location, the length of time and apparent fact that this … facility was actually built for bin Laden and it’s closeness to the central location of the Pakistani Army,” Levin said Monday, the morning after President Obama announced that bin Laden had been killed.
Levin was careful not to accuse civilian government officials of working to hide bin Laden or insinuate that they knew of his location, but suggested the possibility that some in the Pakistani military were aware that he lived near the capitol.
In a statement released this week, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari praised the American effort, calling it a “great victory.”
“Reassured by [Zardari’s] statement, not necessarily suspicious that he knew, or that the civilian leadership knew, but I must tell you, I hope that he will follow through … and ask some very tough questions of his own military and his own intelligence,” Levin said. “They have a lot of explaining to do.”
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