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A lengthy and detailed description of Operation Geronimo on Monday by John Brennan, the chief US counter-terrorism adviser, was seriously undermined when, less than 24 hours later, the White House was forced to give a contradictory account.
The picture of what happened both before and during the raid became even more confused when government sources in Pakistan and Afghanistan disputed key facts about the commando mission.
Early reports of the raid suggested that five people were killed — bin Laden, a woman, two al-Qaeda “couriers” and bin Laden’s youngest son, Hamza, 20. But in his White House briefing, Mr Brennan said it was another son, 22-year-old Khalid, who died. Mysteriously, an official transcript of Mr Brennan’s comments replaced Khalid’s name with Hamza’s, suggesting Mr Brennan had named the wrong son, but this has not been clarified.
White House briefings on Monday stated that the building in Abbottabad where bin Laden was living had been built in 2005, and that it had been purpose-built for him.
But an ISI official in Pakistan made an extraordinary claim yesterday that the same compound had been raided by Pakistani forces as long ago as 2003, when it was still being built.
According to the ISI source, the Pakistanis were looking for Abu Faraj al-Libi, who became bin Laden’s No 3, and was later captured by the CIA. If Pakistan’s account is correct, the US’s entire story about how they found the building would be undermined.
There was growing confusion yesterday over who identified bin Laden after the Navy Seals stormed the compound. According to US security sources, he was named by one of his wives. Senior intelligence officials in Pakistan were briefing yesterday that he was in fact identified by his daughter Safia, aged 12 or 13. She is currently being questioned by Pakistani intelligence officials.
Officials said on Monday that bin Laden’s body had initially been identified using facial recognition technology on a photograph wired back to Washington from Abbottabad, before a DNA test was carried out that proved with “99.9 per cent certainty” that it was the al-Qaeda leader
But yesterday a US congressman cast doubt on whether the DNA tests had yet been carried out. Representative Ron Paul, a Republican presidential candidate and a doctor, said: “I understand he was killed Sunday afternoon and by Sunday nine o’clock it was announced that the President would speak and they had DNA proof of the individual. I didn’t know they could do DNA that quickly. Then they came back and said it was facial features and we’ll get the results of the DNA later.”
Originally posted by Belcultassi
A new conspiracy regarding trivia over a (probably) long dead public enemy figure is a wonderful distraction!
What is equally newsworthy is there are people who can call the terrorgraph a reputable newspaper.