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US says ISI clueless about Osama

There is no evidence so far that anybody in a senior position in Pakistan Army or ISI had any knowledge about the presence of Osama bin Laden at a safe house in an Islamabad suburb, a top Pentagon official has said.

world Updated: Jun 15, 2011 10:08 IST

There is no evidence so far that anybody in a senior position in Pakistan Army or ISI had any knowledge about the presence of Osama bin Laden at a safe house in an Islamabad suburb, a top Pentagon official has said.

"I'm privy now to an awful lot of what we've seen as a result of what he had in his house, where he was living, and I just haven't seen anything yet that would confirm that anybody in a senior position had any idea he was there," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Charlie Rose show in an interview on Tuesday.

"...I just haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe, any evidence that the ISI knew about it, that the Pak military knew about it," he said. The top Pentagon official said that he has seen evidence that bin Laden lived at the Abbottabad compound for five years.

He said the US raid on bin Laden's safe house was the culmination of the focus that America had put on finding and capturing or killing the top al Qaeda leadership. "When we went in, certainly he's been the number one target for us for a long time, but when we went in, the status of al Qaeda has been significantly damaged over the course of the last two or three years," he said.

"So they're a much different organisation than they were when President Obama came in. But we have been focused on this for a decade." "This was the best -- certainly I'd ever seen -- action between the CIA and the Pentagon. And there were other agencies involved as well," he said.

Mullen said the US has brought as much pressure and discussion as it could on Pakistan to take action to eliminate that threat. "That's just part of what we're going through with them right now. From an al Qaeda standpoint, what the Pakistan leadership tells me -- the military leadership -- is that they don't want them there either".

"And you know, we continue to work through the relationship in terms of how we work together to eliminate that threat. I think Omar and Quetta -- the whole Taliban thing -- and see, you can extend this to the Haqqani network, which is the Taliban network which focuses on Eastern Afghanistan," Mullen said.

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