Sources tell ABC News that administration officials believe Osama bin Laden had been living at the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound for years, with one senior administration source even suggesting the compound was specifically built in 2005 for the al Qaeda leader.
That this compound was constructed in the neighborhood of former Pakistani military officials and a local military academy is of course calling into question the participation of the local – if not national – government.
“It’s inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time,” said White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan on Monday.
Brennan said the Obama administration was “pursuing all leads in this issue.”
As always, there is a line that the US government walks when it comes to its alliance with Pakistan’s government. The Pakistanis seldom are as cooperative as the US wants them to be, and yet the US cannot afford to alienate the country’s leadership.
“We’ve had differences of view with the Pakistani government on counterterrorism cooperation, on areas of cooperation, and what we think they should and shouldn’t be doing,” Brennan acknowledged.
“At the same time,” he added, “Pakistan has been responsible for capturing and killing more terrorists inside of Pakistan than any country, and it’s by a wide margin. And there have been many, many brave Pakistani soldiers, security officials, as well as citizens, who have given their lives because of the terrorism scourge in that country.”