It has been a year since U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s home in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, leaving the FBI’s most wanted man dead.
The compound where bin Laden once lived with his four wives and children was demolished in February and is now reduced to debris.
For years the United States and Pakistan were working together to track down bin Laden and fight extremists near the Afghanistan border prior to the raid. However the U.S. kept the mission a secret from Pakistan fearing bin Laden maybe tipped off.
This left Pakistanis outraged by the violation of their national sovereignty. On the other hand, U.S. officials, questioned bin Laden’s “hiding in plain sight,” location near one of the country’s top military academies.
Meanwhile, Abbottabad residents continue to raise the question on the most obvious piece of evidence from last year’s raid – where is the photograph of the dead al-Qaeda leader?
Some doubt that bin laden is really dead but believe rather that the announcement of his killing has been used as a political ploy.
”What on earth is this? That they took the body from here and dumped it in the ocean! There is no truth in this. It is all a drama. They should at least show something, give some proof. Obviously this is going to be used for cashing into the (U.S) election,” said local resident Naveed Ahmed.
The U.S administration said they decided not to release any photos to the public due to the graphic nature of the images, and that they would only incite further violence or be used for propaganda purposes. This decision has been supported by the U.S. federal court.
Imtiaz Gul, a security analyst in Pakistan said the killing of bin Laden has not changed or improved the country’s security.
”It doesn’t really mean a big, fatal or terminal blow to al-Qaeda because Osama bin Laden has left behind a legacy which he stood for, he propagated and in the process he was able to create a lot of local al-Qaedas, local facilitators and auxiliaries who are there now, without taking the name of Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda,” he said.
The family of bin Laden was deported to Saudi Arabia on April 27, after months of speculation on the fate of his three widows and 11 children, who were held under Pakistani security forces following the May 2 raid.
The family, now outside Pakistan, may reveal the details on how the world’s most wanted man has been able to hide in the country for years, possibly aided by elements of the powerful Pakistani military and spy agency.
On the first death anniversary of the former al-Qaeda leader, dozens of Pakistani schoolchildren gathered by the demolished home of bin laden chanting: “We want our peace back.”
Meanwhile, a car bomb in the Afghan capital Kabul left six people dead following the departure of U.S. President Barack Obama.
Obama made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to sign a strategic pact with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and to deliver an election-year message to Americans that the war is winding down.
Wednesday’s attack was the latest in a recent surge of violence after the Taliban announced they had begun their usual “spring offensive”, and that they had suspended tentative steps towards peace talks with the United States.