Sen. Carl Levin: Pakistan Govt Has ‘A Lot of Explaining To Do’

May 2, 2011 12:26pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee today said Pakistan’s military and intelligence communities have “a lot of explaining to do” after Osama bin Laden was killed in a huge compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a city with a large military presence less than 100 miles from the capital of Islamabad.  

Read all of ABC's coverage of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., told reporters on Capitol Hill today that Pakistani military and intelligence officials now need to answer “a lot of questions” about how the world’s most wanted man was able to live in a town with such a strong military presence.

“I think that the Pakistani army and intelligence have a lot of questions to answer given the location, the length of time, and the apparent fact that this facility was actually built for bin Laden and its closeness to the central location of the Pakistani army. So I think the army and the intelligence of Pakistan have plenty of questions that they should be answering and hopefully they’re being asked by the Pakistani government,” Levin said.

“But I do think the Pakistani president’s statement today was a very reassuring statement, when he very specifically said that he thinks this is a great victory and he congratulated us on the success of the operation,” Levin continued. “So I’m reassured by his 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, that the president of Pakistan Zardari will follow through and ask some very tough questions of his own military, his own intelligence. They’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”

Levin was accompanied at today’s news conference by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid said President Obama was “very somber” when he informed Reid around 9:30p Sunday that bin Laden had been killed.

“His death is the most significant victory in our fight against al Qaeda and sends a strong message to terrorists around the world,” Reid said.

“We know there are other terrorists out there, but this is a real shot in the arm to people of good will all over.” 

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