CIA to search bin Laden’s compound


Pakistan has agreed to allow the CIA to send a forensics team to examine the compound where al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden was killed, giving the agency permission to use sophisticated equipment in a search for materials that might have been hidden inside walls or buried at the site, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
The WP said a CIA team is expected to arrive at the compound in Abbottabad within days, and that the objective is to scrub the site for items that were not recovered by American commandos during the raid or Pakistani security forces who secured the facility in the aftermath.
“The assault team was there for only 40 minutes,” a US official told WP. The aim is to return to the site “to do another, more thorough, look.”
The WP said that CIA Deputy Director Michael J. Morell negotiated access to the Abbottabad site during a trip to Islamabad last week, when he met with ISI DG Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
According to the report, Pakistan’s agreement is seen as an encouraging sign that the two spy services will continue cooperating despite anger in Islamabad over the American operation to kill bin Laden, and a series of recent ruptures between the CIA and its Pakistani counterpart.
Pakistan has also agreed to allow the CIA to examine materials that Pakistan’s security forces have recovered from the compound, the WP said, adding that the CIA has also asked ISI for assistance in analyzing some of the records that were seized in the raid and brought to a CIA document exploitation facility in Northern Virginia.