Nightly News

Nightly News   |  May 02, 2011

Pakistan's credibility questioned

The fact that Osama bin Laden was discovered not in a cave in a remote mountain area, but in a compound in the town of Abbottabad, is feeding suspicions that Pakistani security forces knew where he was hiding. NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> what i said before the break, a lot of americans thought osama bin laden was frankly living in a cave, on the run all these years. we were surprised, a lot of people were, to find out he was living in a very nice home, the best in that area. the question is, how many other people knew about it? our chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell in our washington bureau has been working this aspect of the story.

>> in the end, osama bin laden wasn't underground in a remote mountain cave after all. he was living in luxury in a suburb of pakistan 's capital, on land controlled by the military, hiding in plain sight. in this sleepy military town, only 35 miles from islamabad, his military compound was a mansion with 10 to 18-foot walls topped with wire. there were other red flags . the luxury home eight times the others around it had no phone or internet access . in these pictures, neighbors are almost next door in the military academy , the equivalent of our west point.

>> it is a little incredible. my personal view is they certainly probably were aware of it.

>> reporter: u.s. intelligence contend it could have only been built for osama bin laden . so how could army and spies not have known?

>> it could have been a case of eyes wide shut where they kept their eyes wide opened bup closed as far as americans were concerned.

>> there are a lot of questions asked about the role of the pakistani intelligence agency and as well, the pakistani military .

>> reporter: the neighborhood certainly noticed the raid, blogged in realtime in twitter at reallyvirtual. helicopter hovering above abbottabad is a rare occurrence. they have poured almost $20 billion into pakistan without getting a reliable ally. bill clinton couldn't get pakistan to cooperate in going after the terrorists. after 9/11, they said they had to target al qaeda , but little happened. last year, hillary clinton said was many were thinking.

>> i believe somewhere in our government, there are people who know where osama bin laden and al qaeda is.

>> reporter: today, the president's anti-terror chief said it's unconceivable he didn't have a support system inside pakistan and he acknowledged people are wondering if that support came from pakistan 's government, adding, understandably.

>> andrea mitchell with that asspktd