Saudis paid Pakistan to shelter bin Laden, claims security expert

R.J. Hillhouse

R.J. Hillhouse

An American academic and security expert with deep links in the intelligence community claims that, at the time of his killing by US Special Forces, Osama bin Laden was living under house arrest, following a secret arrangement between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Former professor and Fulbright Fellow R.J. Hillhouse has cited “sources in the intelligence community” in alleging that the CIA discovered bin Laden’s whereabouts through a Pakistani intelligence officer. The officer, who was privy to the alleged deal between the Saudis and the Pakistanis, appeared as ‘a walk-in’, a term meaning someone who voluntarily contacts an intelligence outpost, usually by simply walking into an embassy or consulate and asking to speak to the intelligence officer on duty. According to Hillhouse, the ‘walk-in’ provided CIA officers with detailed information as to the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts, in exchange for US citizenship for him and his family and the $25 million reward offered by the US Department of State for bin Laden’s head. According to Hillhouse’s story, which was picked up yesterday by The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald, the Pakistani informant also told the Americans that elements in the government of Saudi Arabia had entered into a complex monetary agreement with senior members of Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI). Under the arrangement, the ISI was paid to keep bin Laden under house arrest in Abbottabad —a military community in Pakistan, selected precisely in order to keep bin Laden under constant and close supervision. After verifying bin Laden’s whereabouts in Abbottabad, US officials approached senior ISI officials and promised them “double what the Saudis were paying them to keep bin Laden”, if they collaborated with the CIA-led raid on the al-Qaeda founder’s compound. Even though a team of US Special Forces was sent in to kill bin Laden, says Hillhouse, the official story was going to be that he was killed by an unmanned Predator drone strike commanded by the CIA. But the cover story collapsed after one of the US helicopters carrying the Special Forces contingent crashed on the outer wall of bin Laden’s compound. On August 11, Dr Hillhouse followed her initial claim with a subsequent post answering some of the questions raised by her initial revelation. In her analysis, she explains that, in the eyes of the Saudi regime, “paying off a third party to keep [bin Laden] under wraps might have been the best solution for handling such an uncomfortable problem”. For the Pakistanis, says Hillhouse, the option of keeping bin Laden on a tight rope in the small town of Abbottabad seemed equally appealing. She does not, however, answer what may be considered as the most crucial question: namely, if the Saudis had bin Laden in their hands, and if he was “such an uncomfortable problem” for them, then why not simply kill him, and then surrender his body to the Americans for extra brownie points?

One Response to Saudis paid Pakistan to shelter bin Laden, claims security expert

  1. Rowf says:

    Because – the Bush family and the Bin Laden family are close friends, with ties to oil wealth. You didn’t know that?

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