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Osama was spotted in Drosh in 2005, says report

CHITRAL, July 9: The leaked Abbottabad commission report on the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 by American SEALs has claimed that in 2005 the CIA had told Pakistani’s premier intelligence agency, the ISI, that Osama had been spotted in Drosh, Chitral. After that, there was no proper or coordinated intelligence sharing between the two spy agencies hunting the world’s most wanted terror linchpin. It is not clear how Osama reached Chitral, who sheltered him there and then under what circumstances he moved out of the valley without being noticed. Certainly, much bigger game would have been in the work here too. It may be noted that in 2005 some religious parties launched protests in Chitral against what they said the presence of CIA agents in search of Osama in Chitral. In one of the foreign media reports it was stated: “Since September 11, 2001, Chitral has found itself uncomfortably at the fringe of America’s ‘war on terror’ and search for Bin Laden,” wrote James Rupert in Newsday in May 2007. Rupert recounted a visit to Chitral by Paul Aurdic, from the US Consulate in Peshawar, in April 2005. “Aurdic … registered as a tourist at a Chitral hotel and began moving into what he told hotel staffers was a rented vacation home. But his carloads of equipment – including a satellite dish and exercise machines – raised suspicions that he was opening a CIA or FBI outpost dedicated to the search for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda members. When a local legislator voiced the suspicions in parliament and announced a march to protest the American’s presence, Aurdic and a Pakistani colleague left town.” “Before and after the mysterious American’s visit, reports quoting Afghan and US intelligence officials said Chitral was a suspected hiding place or travel route for Bin Laden,” said the report. People in Chitral “don’t want the FBI or CIA here – or the Taliban or Al Qaeda, because we are lucky to have a peaceful place here and these people will disturb it,” said Mahkamuddin, a Chitral newspaper reporter at that time. The southern Chitral village of Arandu was also reported by residents to be full of spies working for both sides in the war – and Afghanistan was holding a local resident whom it accused of having escorted Bin Laden through Chitral.]]>

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