Pakistanis question how much their government knew about bin Laden raid

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This frame grab from the Saudi-owned television network MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center) shows alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden sitting between his Egyptian lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahri (L) and Suleiman Abu Ghaith, the spokesman of his al-Qaeda network, in an undated videotape broadcast by the Dubai-based MBC April 17, 2002.

The United States remains "deeply unpopular" in Pakistan, according to Cyril Almeida, a columnist/editor at Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper.

Local Pakistani television, says Almeida, was questioning whether the Pakistani military knew about the attack on bin Laden's compound ahead of time, and if they knew why they didn't do anything to stop it.

Almeida says that this operation "happening under the nose of our security establishment has caused some to question what is going on in this country."

Tensions were "already at an all-time high," says Almeida, following the Raymond Davis Affair earlier this year – the incident involving a CIA agent who said that he'd shot two men who were trying to rob him and was arrested by local authorities.

Almeida says that what usually happens after operations like this, such as drone strikes and other American activities in Pakistan, is that Pakistani officials start leaking information to the local media. In this case, officials aren't giving information either publicly or privately, which Almeida says raises "awkward questions."

Some commentators and journalists have pointed out that, in the past, American officials have confided information in Pakistani authorities – which then got leaked, allowing targets to potentially get away.

The compound where bin Laden was found was a "stone's throw" one of Pakistan's "premiere military installations."

"For that to have occurred in that area," says Almeida, "to have a 12-foot high wall ringing a large compound and barbed wire, if it did not invite questions from the local police or the army officials, that sounds pretty much like a lot of incompetence."

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