Well, now we know why all of us had trouble ID'ing the helicopter that crashed, or was brought down, in the Osama raid.
It was a secretly developed stealth helicopter, probably a highly modified version of an H-60 Blackhawk. Photos published in the Daily Mail and on the Secret Projects board show that the helicopter's tail features stealth-configured shapes on the boom and tip fairings, swept stabilizers and a "dishpan" cover over a non-standard five-or-six-blade tail rotor. It has a silver-loaded infra-red suppression finish similar to that seen on some V-22s.
No wonder the team tried to destroy it. The photos show that they did a thorough job - except for the end of the tailboom, which ended up outside the compound wall. (It almost looks as if the helo's tail hit the wall on landing.)
Stealth helicopter technology in itself is not new and was applied extensively to the RAH-66 Comanche. Priorities are usually different versus fixed-wing aircraft. Reducing noise and making it less conspicuous is the first job (more main and tail blades reduce the classic whop-whop signature). Listen here.
Noise can also be reduced by aerodynamic modifications and flight control changes that make it possible to slow the rotor down, particularly in forward flight below maximum speed. Infra-red reduction measures are crucial -- the Comanche had an elaborate system of exhaust ducts and fresh-air mixers in its tailboom.
Radar cross-section reduction is also possible - you can't make a helo as radar-stealthy as a fixed-wing airplane, because of all its moving parts, but on the other hand it is generally operating at low altitude in ground clutter, and is not an easy target. Reducing RCS also makes jamming more effective, whether from the aircraft itself or from a standoff jammer.
The willingness to compromise this technology shows the importance of the mission in the eyes of US commanders -- and what we're seeing here also explains why Pakistani defenses didn't see the first wave (at least) coming in.
Anti-India Hizbul sheltered Osama in its compound: Report
Toronto, May 4 (IANS) Hizbul Mujahideen, the militant outfit fighting Indian forces in Kashmir, owned the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces Sunday, according to a media report here.
The report in the respected Globe and Mail Tuesday said that Hizbul Mujahideen was using the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden lived, adding that the terrorist mastermind was sheltered by one of the militant groups that has enjoys backing from the Pakistani military.
The Islamabad-datelined report quoted a police officer familiar with bin Laden's compound as saying that "the location was used by Hizbul Mujahideen, one of the biggest militant outfits in the disputed territory of Kashmir."
"The place belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen. But the authorities have asked us not to share any information about the exact ownership,'' the report quoted the police officer as saying.
The report added that Hizbul's links to Al-Qaeda would "deepen Pakistan's embarrassment over Mr. bin Laden's death.'' According to it, land-registry officials or patwaris in Abbottabad were summoned to a meeting Tuesday and told to keep quiet about the owners of the compound used by bin Laden.
"The patwaris are meeting right now. They are being instructed not to say anything about the land-ownership issue,'' the report quoted a city official as saying.
The report said if the ownership of the compound were traced to Hizbul, it would "mark an unusual example of co-operation between the militant group and its more extreme cousin, Al-Qaeda. HM has maintained a narrow focus on removing Indian forces from Kashmir, while Al-Qaeda pursues global ambitions.''
Hizbul is the leading militant outfit trying to oust India from Kashmir.
"Like other groups fighting Indian troops in the borderlands, HM's radical membership has never been rounded up by Pakistani forces and some analysts say Islamabad covertly supports the group,'' the report said.
ISLAMABAD, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Urdu TV channel Geo News quoted Pakistani intelligence officials as saying that the world's most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden was killed in a search operation launched by the Pakistani forces after a Pakistani army helicopter was shot down in the wee hours of Monday in Abbotabad, a mountainous town located some 60 kilometers north of Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad.
At about 1:20 a.m. local time a Pakistani helicopter was shot down by unknown people in the Sikandarabad area of Abbotabad. The Pakistani forces launched a search operation in the nearby area and encountered with a group of unknown armed people. A fire exchange followed between the two sides.
When the fire exchange ended, the Pakistani forces arrested some Arab women and kids as well some other armed people who later confessed to the Pakistani forces they were with Osama Bin laden when the fire was exchanged and Bin Laden was killed in the firing.
Local media reported that after the dead body of Bin Laden was recovered, two U.S. helicopter flew to the site and carried away the dead body of Bin Laden.
Initial reports said that at least one was killed and two others were injured in the crash. At least two houses were engulfed by the huge fire caused by the crashed chopper.
Rescue team rushed to the site shortly after the crash was reported and the armed forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation there.
Sources of Xinhua said they tried to enter the area after the incident took place, but no media people were allowed inside.
"No one knows in that helicopter crash Bin Laden was killed," said the sources.
Aid to Pakistan should not be stopped: John Boehner
John Boehner said that during the current situation US should strengthen ties with Pakistan.
The United States congress speaker John Boehner said that due to Pakistan’s role in the war against terror the US should directly talk to Pakistan and the aid should not be stopped.
In an interview, John Boehner said that strong relations between the United States and Pakistan held importance against Al Qaeda. He also said that he on behalf of the United States he opposed the suspension of aid to Pakistan.
US Promises 'hard look' at Pakistan Aid, Wants Action on 26/11
New Delhi, May 4 (IANS): Underlining that Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, US envoy Timothy J. Roemer Wednesday said Washington will take a "hard look" at the assistance being given to the country and pressed Islamabad to do more to bring the terrorists who attacked Mumbai to book.
"We are certainly going to see Capitol Hill take a very hard look at the assistance that we give, and we invest in security for Pakistan and quite frankly for India. India has a vested interest in a more prosperous Pakistan," Roemer told reporters here on the sideline of an event.
Saying Pakistan needs to do more against terrorists, Roemer said it has to be seen whether Islamabad is using the funds given by the US in a "proper way".
"Congress is going to engage in I think two very fundamentally important tasks in the weeks ahead. One will be as we share or sell certain military equipment to Pakistan, is that being used in the proper way to take on counter terrorism efforts.
"We have seen over the past 18 months Pakistan has stepped up those efforts to target Al Qaeda leadership and degrade the leadership. Are they doing enough on Lashkar-e-Taiba? Are they doing enough on Mumbai trials? Are they doing enough on Hafiz Saeed and (Zakiur Rehman) Lakhvi? No, they need to do more," he said.
He said Pakistan needs to show results on the Mumbai trials, saying senior US officials visiting Islamabad have been pressing for it.
"Senior level visitors from the US going to Islamabad have made very clear that Pakistan needs to do more. They need to show progress and results on the Mumbai trials. That Mumbai attack on 26/11 killed scores of Indians, six Americans, and the US wants to see progress and results and justice."
Roemer also said Osama's discovery in Pakistan would also be taken up. The fugutive was killed by US forces in a mansion in Pakistan's Abbottabad town Sunday night.
"The second part of this will be in respect to bin Laden being discovered outside of Islamabad. We remember Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was discovered inside Rawalpindi back in 2003, this is a concern.
"Congress will ask tough questions and go to the bottom. How do we more effectively use that aid, I am sure Pakistan is helping us not only degrade Al Qaeda, but go after groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba," he said.
The undeclared Pak mission
Behind feverish disclaimers lie clues to Islamabad’s co-operation with US in killing Osama
San Francisco, May 3: There has been a coup d’etat in Pakistan. A quiet one. But it is a coup that may change the course of history not only in South Asia but in the entire Islamic ummah or community.
By giving up Osama bin Laden, the Pakistan Army’s wildest trump card in the cat-and-mouse game between Islamabad and Washington that reached a critical point when CIA contractor Raymond Davis was arrested, factions in the Pakistani establishment which seek a continued alliance with the US have displaced those who want Pakistan to be part of a global Islamic resurgence.
It was a cat-and-mouse game between Langley, the CIA headquarters, and Rawalpindi, seat of the Pakistan Army General Headquarters, which began with the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 when the Americans, foolishly trusting Gen. Pervez Musharraf then, enabled the Inter-Services Intelligence to facilitate the safe passage of Osama from the Tora Bora mountains through deceit.
The Americans were to regret their foolishness for a whole decade.
The arrest of Davis in January for killing two men who were widely believed to have been ISI agents, the arrest of at least one other CIA contractor, the denial of visas to American “diplomats” by Pakistan, the near breaking point in ties between the ISI and the CIA — all made it necessary for Pakistan to choose between being dumped by the US for needling them in Afghanistan using its proxies or extending their full and unstinted co-operation to Washington in return for continued military and other assistance.
The army faction that supports a deep alliance with the US has won out and proved its loyalty to Washington.
Contrary to the carefully cultivated perception in Washington and Islamabad about the fallout of killing Osama, a new phase in the US-Pakistan security alliance has been sealed in Abbottabad with the blood of the Saudi billionaire-turned-terrorist.
The best accounts of the operation which killed bin Laden are not to be found in the US media, which is behaving as if it is embedded with the CIA like American journalists were with the US forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and swallowed army propaganda for which newspapers like The Washington Post later apologised.
Revealing details about Sunday’s Abbottabad operation are to be found in the Chinese media, especially China’s official news agency, Xinhua, which has no pretensions to media freedom unlike its American counterparts.
The Chinese have the best sources in Pakistan, given the all-weather friendship between Islamabad and Beijing.
Xinhua says electricity was cut off to Abbottabad as the operation to kill Osama began. That shows complicity with the Americans not only within the Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi but down the line to the local administration that controls the electricity switching stations.
Xinhua says security forces cordoned off the entire area near Osama’s safe house before the Americans attacked it and no one was allowed to enter or leave the operational surroundings during the attack.
That only means the Pakistanis knew what was going to take place, although it is only logical that reasons for sealing off the area would not have been communicated down the line to the local police or paramilitary units.
Xinhua also says residents of Abbottabad took videos and cellphone pictures from their rooftops as the spectacular helicopter landing and firefight was under way.
But Pakistani security forces went round from house to house collecting memory cards from cameras and seizing videos from residents soon enough so that the pictures were not transmitted freelance by what modern TV would call citizen journalists.
All this could not have been organised by the Pakistanis after the event, which means, circumstantially, that the killing of Osama was a well co-ordinated US-Pakistani operation down to local ward-level in Abbottabad.
Besides, Abbottabad is the seat of a brigade of the second division of Pakistan’s Northern Army Corps and several other sensitive army establishments, including a key military training academy.
Metaphorically, even a fly cannot circle the skies of that city without escaping the attention of the defence network that guards Abbottabad.
It is for this reason and to keep up the fiction that the US and Pakistan did not co-operate in killing Osama that an official statement was issued in Islamabad today that “US helicopters entered Pakistani airspace making use of blind spots in the radar coverage due to hilly terrain”.
The statement added that “US helicopters’ undetected flight into Pakistan was also facilitated by the... efficacious use of latest technology and ‘nap of the earth’ flying techniques”.
At the same time, the Pakistan Army did not want its people to lose faith in Rawalpindi as the guardian of their country’s borders and their defence.
Hence, a paragraph in the statement which asserts that “it may not be realistic to draw an analogy between this undefended civilian area and some military (and) security installations which have elaborate local defence arrangements”.
But to think that American helicopters carrying heavily armed personnel who attacked Osama’s hideout could have violated Abbottabad’s air space without help from Pakistan is pure fiction that is meant for the masses who are vulnerable to jihadi sermons in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Inflaming those masses could mean difficulties for the Americans everywhere.
But it is true that “Abbottabad and the surrounding areas have been under sharp focus of intelligence agencies since 2003, resulting in highly technical operation by ISI which led to the arrest of high-value al Qaida target in 2004”, as the statement claims.
Of the greatest significance, however, is the revelation in the statement that “as far as the target compound is concerned, ISI has been sharing information with CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009. The intelligence flow indicating some foreigners in the surroundings of Abbottabad, continued till mid-April 2011”.
The Pakistani statement is remarkable for its candour between the lines because it is admitting that in April 2011, the ISI stopped sharing information about Osama with the Americans because of strains between their respective intelligence outfits.
As a result, the Americans had to put off their plans to kill or capture bin Laden in mid-April, plans which began when Pakistan shared that intelligence from 2009, because the operation could not be undertaken without Islamabad’s full support.
The internal power struggles in the Pakistani establishment were resolved when it was decided that not only will intelligence co-operation be revived but also that to make up with the Americans, they would sacrifice Osama.
That is tantamount to a coup within Pakistan which paves the way for stronger, better and deeper ties between Pakistan and the US, belying Indian hopes to the contrary.
The Pakistani statement truthfully claims that “reports about US helicopters taking off from Ghazi airbase are absolutely false and incorrect”. The US has enough capabilities for an operation of this kind not to want to use Pakistan’s military facilities.
All it needed was logistics support and unimpeded passage into Abbottabad.
There is irony in the portion of the statement which says the “CIA and some other friendly intelligence agencies have benefited a great deal from the intelligence provided by ISI. ISI’s own achievements against al Qaida and in the war on terror are more than any other intelligence agency in the world”.
There is a ring of truth in it with their sacrifice of their biggest trump card in dealings with the US, namely the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama.
And finally, some window dressing: “The Government of Pakistan expresses its deep concerns and reservations on the manner in which the Government of the United States carried out this operation without prior information or authorisation from the Government of Pakistan.”
These are the excerpts from the show on NDTV hosted by Barkha Dutt and spoken by our former IB Director Ajit Doval. Why this angle isn't been investigated by the Americans???
"If you were Osama, what would be your top priority post 9-11? I think the consensus will be "Personal Safety" (so that he can continue inspiring and guiding terror ops worldwide). In such a situation, to avoid prying American eyes, would your choice be Abbotabad? Not a chance in hell, and not unless guarantees were provided, i.e. only if you were assured of safety 400% and if your lieutenants bought into that. And such assurance can only be provided by the Pakistan military."
There could have been two possibilities, He agreed to a relocation to Abbotabad from wherever he was in FATA based on such assurances, and of his own free will, and continued living there since 2005-2006 with
the full knowledge of selected officers (serving and retired) in the Pakistani military establishment. It is clear that the cantonment area was considered to be safe by the Pakistani military, and Osama was within reach of proper medical treatment and a Pak military medic was living within 100 yards of Osama's residence, according to latest reports.
RAWALPINDI: Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday stated that Pakistan’s role in the war against terror should not be doubted, DawnNews reported. Kayani was speaking during a meeting at GHQ where the army top brass was gathered to discuss the situation after Osama bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad.
During the meeting, DG ISI Lieutenant General Shuja Pasha also gave a briefing regarding the security situation after the operation.
A new strategy on Pakistan’s security will also be devised in the next few days by the Corps Commanders.
No, he said that he would not allow have not allowed US commandos to operate in Pakistan like this. He didnt said that he would not allow them to kill Osama. It is another thing that maybe he meant the same thing.