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The Scoop
May 3, 2011

Questions Pakistan needs to answer

Robin Simcox

While it may seem an intimidating task to sift through the reams of fascinating information emerging from bin Laden’s recent assassination, one article certainly worth making time for is Steve Coll’s latest in The New Yorker.

Coll speculates that ‘bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control’, and asks a range of questions that Pakistan needs to answer concerning bin Laden’s living arrangements:

“Who owned the land on which the house was constructed? How was the land acquired, and from whom? Who designed the house, which seems to have been purpose-built to secure bin Laden? Who was the general contractor? Who installed the security systems? Who worked there? Are there witnesses who will now testify as to who visited the house, how often, and for what purpose?”

Answers to such questions have been so far conspicuous by their absence from Islamabad.

[H/T : Also worth reading is Coll’s remarkably detailed Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden; one of the best books out there on the international jihadist movement and formation of al-Qaeda.]

Robin Simcox

About Robin Simcox

Robin Simcox is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, where he specialises in al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda inspired terrorism. He is the co-author of both editions of 'Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections' and several other reports broadly focussed on national security, terrorism and al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated movements across the world. Simcox has written for the likes of the Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Guardian, Weekly Standard, Spectator, Huffington Post and Daily Telegraph and regularly appears across a broad variety of media outlets, including the BBC, Fox News, Sky News, Channel 4 and al-Jazeera. He has spoken on a variety of platforms, including the British Parliament, US Special Operations Command and the European Parliament.

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