Washington: The US today dismissed as untrue reports that a former Pakistani intelligence officer provided information about the hideout of Osama bin Laden to the CIA, saying an unilateral American operation traced and killed the al-Qaeda chief in 2011.
"It was an years of painstaking effort of the American intelligence community and an unilateral operation that traced and killed Osama bin Laden in 2011," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
"The reporting is specific that a Pakistani intelligence walk-in revealed Osama bin Laden's location to the United States, and that is not true," Earnest told reporters.
Osama bin Laden
Earnest was responding to questions on recent news reports which claimed the information about whereabouts of bin
Laden was provided by a Pakistani intelligence official who walked into the US Embassy in Islamabad.
According to official White House account, Laden was shot dead by US commandoes at his hideout in Abbottabad in Pakistan on May 2, 2011 that took even the Pakistanis by surprise.
Several unofficial accounts appearing in the last few days have challenged that version.
"The original version of this story said that a Pakistani asset told the US where bin Laden was hiding. Sources say that
while the asset provided information vital to the hunt for bin Laden, he was not the source of his whereabouts," said an editor's note issued by NBC News.
Earnest said the Obama administration went to great lengths to reveal as much information as possible about that
operation and what led to that operation being ordered by the president of the United States.
"We have been very clear about what has happened, certainly clear when you consider the understandably classified nature of the operation and so many elements of the operation," he said.
"But what's also true is that there are declassified portions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report
and the CIA response to that report, both of whom spent a lot of time talking about the intelligence that was developed as it relates to the specific mission," he added.
"Neither of those extensive accounts features the role of a Pakistani intelligence walk-in revealing Osama bin Laden's
location to the United States. The fact is that the United States was able to piece together information about bin
Laden's location based on painstaking intelligence work that spanned years, that spanned a variety of sources," Earnest said.
"And even as the President decided to order the operation, there was no definitive information to confirm that the individual that had been identified in this compound actually was Osama bin Laden," the White House Press Secretary said.
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