It will forever be known as the place where the United States finally caught up with Osama Bin Laden but the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad has been described as the country’s ‘Terrorism Central,’ according to the executive director of the Asia-Pacific Foundation.
Osama bin Laden “was not the only terrorist that assumed that he was safe in Abbottabad.
The town is very much ‘Terrorism Central’ in Pakistan,” M J Gohel wrote in a research report on Thursday.
Earlier this year, one of the key coordinators behind the Bali bombings that killed 202 people, Umar Patek, was found to be living in the town with his wife.
US authorities still want to talk to Patek, who is in Pakistani custody.
“The fact that Western intelligence believes that Patek had traveled to Abbottabad to see bin Laden raises serious questions about the role and commitment of the Pakistani military establishment on counter-terrorism issues,” Gohel said.
Another senior al-Qaeda operative, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the terror group's operational leader, was known to have been based in the town in 2004.
“Since the death of bin Laden, the former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf has given a number of media interviews stating categorically that there was no chance of collusion between the al-Qaeda leader and the Pakistani military,” Gohel wrote.
“Instead he pointed out that there was an intelligence failure inside Pakistan and that the appropriate people should be disciplined and punished. However, if believed to be true that ‘intelligence’ failure’ was the real problem, then that potentially applies to Musharraf himself,” he added.