Pakistan's intelligence service allowed Chinese military engineers to examine the wreckage of the US “stealth” helicopter that crashed during the May 2 raid at al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, US officials and others familiar with classified intelligence assessments have claimed.
During the secret military operation, one of two modified Blackhawk helicopters had malfunctioned and crashed forcing commandos to abandon it.
The members of the US Navy Seals team, who conducted the raid, had tried to destroy the helicopter, but the tail section remained largely intact.
US spy agencies have concluded that it is likely that Chinese engineers, at the invitation of Pakistani intelligence operatives, took detailed photographs of the severed tail of the helicopter equipped with classified technology designed to elude radar, the New York Times reports.
The report also says that the Chinese officials were allowed to obtain samples of its special “skin” that allowed it to evade radar.
“The US now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” a person “in intelligence circles” revealed.
No one from the Pakistani army was available for comment, but the country’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), denied the report.
Pakistan has a close military relationship with China, and large numbers of Chinese engineers work at military bases inside Pakistan.
It was earlier reported that the CIA had explicitly requested that technology from the helicopter should not be shared.