Washington: At least half a dozen top Al Qaeda leaders are in Pakistan, a US lawmaker, who heads key a Congressional intelligence committee, said.
"Of the 20 senior leaders in al-Qaeda, at least a
dozen of them, we believe to be travelling around Pakistan
someplace," Congressman Mike Rogers, chairman of the powerful
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told
reporters at a news conference.
Rogers said US lawmakers would be seeking answers from
Pakistan that how Osama bin Laden lived so close to Islamabad.
He was killed yesterday in an operation by the US special
forces in garrison town of Abbottabad.
"I don`t want to speculate if they did or they did
not. I mean, we`re going to ask those questions. I think
Americans have the right to know that. I would like to know
hat they knew," Rogers said.
"But at the same time, we have to remember there are
still equities that we have in Pakistan as it relates to our
national security. We know there are some incredibly bad
people there," he noted, adding, it is important for the US
that it maintains a relationship Pakistan.
"Keeping a diplomat for 42 days, all of those things --
there`s been some speculation in the past about release of
information to bad guys through their ISI. All of those things
remain a tension for the United States and Pakistan. We hope
that we can work our way through it. Doesn`t mean that we`re
not going to ask hard questions," Rogers said.
The powerful Republican Congressman said the
information started on this four years ago under George Bush
"I don`t draw the nexus between going into Afghanistan
and Iraq and not being able to get bin Laden. The reason we
had such difficulty is because of his operational security,
the way he conducted himself and operated," he said.
"I mean, think about this, the million-dollar compound
plus, which is outlandish by that region of Pakistan that was
built to repel any operation just as it happened. No Internet
connectivity. They would use cut-outs to cut-outs, meaning
they had people who met people they didn`t know to deliver a
message to another person they didn`t know, who eventually
worked its way back to Osama bin Laden," he said.
The Congressman said to track bin Laden was "very
"And we don`t get to walk around every place we want
in the world knocking on doors doing an FBI-style
investigation about where is somebody," Rogers said.