Pakistan says its senior political and military leaders are to blame for not detecting Osama bin Laden's presence in the country and then failing to respond when U.S. forces moved into Pakistani airspace to kill him in 2011, according to a government report that became public Monday.
The report was issued by a high-level commission that spent nearly two years studying the capture of the leader of al-Qaida. It provides new insight into how bin Laden, at the time the world's most hunted man, was able to move around, and then live in, Pakistan after the U.S. military flushed him out of Afghanistan in 2002.
"The failure was primarily an intelligence-security failure that was rooted in political irresponsibility," concluded the Abbottabad Commission, named after the Pakistani city where Navy SEALs killed bin Laden in May 2011.
The 337-page report is widely believed to have been completed months ago, but it only became public Monday after the news organization Al Jazeera obtained a copy and uploaded it to its website. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry confirmed the authenticity of the report but declined to comment.
The report establishes a time line that first places bin Laden in Pakistan in early 2002 after he evaded U.S. capture during the battle of Bora Bora in Afghanistan. Though gaps remain in his whereabouts during that time, the report suggests bin Laden traveled throughout northwestern Pakistan for several years, settling at different times in Peshawar and Swat. In 2005, bin Laden moved his extended family to Abbottabad, where he probably remained until he was killed.