US refuses to rule out official backing for Osama

US counter-terrorism chief John Brennan refused to rule out official Pakistani backing for Osama bin Laden on Monday and said Islamabad was only told of the raid that killed the Al Qaeda leader after US forces had left Pakistani airspace. “We are looking right now at how he was able to hold out there for so long and whether or not there was any type of support system within Pakistan that allowed him to stay there,” Brennan told a White House briefing.
Pressed for a second time by journalists on whether the US believed the Pakistani government when it said it did not know where bin Laden was, the top official replied, “We are pursuing all leads on this issue. We will pursue all leads to find out exactly what type of support system and benefactors that bin Laden would have had,” he said. “It is inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country to allow him to stay there for an extended period of time,” he added.
“I won’t speculate on what type of support he would have had on an official basis, and we are talking to the Pakistanis right now.” He said it was understandable that US lawmakers raise questions about US aid to Pakistan in the wake of the killing of bin Laden. Meanwhile, US lawmakers demanded to know how the world’s most wanted man could have resided in a comfortable home in Abbottabad,. Pakistan will need to “prove to us that they didn’t know that bin Laden was there,” said Senator Joe Lieberman.



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