Bin Laden Considered Striking Deal With Pakistan

Seized documents show he and aides discussed seeking protection
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2011 11:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another nugget from the documents seized by Navy Seals: Osama bin Laden and his aides talked about trying to strike a bargain with Pakistan, the New York Times reports. Under the plan, al-Qaeda would agree not to attack Pakistani targets in exchange for protection. The documents don't say whether anyone from al-Qaeda actually broached the idea to Pakistan, only that it was in what one US official calls the "discussion phase."

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Pick your spin: US officials could argue that bin Laden would not have even floated the proposal within his group if he didn't think he'd find some sympathetic ears within Pakistan. But, notes the Times, Pakistan could argue that it's proof no such deal was in place to begin with. The development comes as Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to Pakistan to soothe relations, which didn't seem to go well. Pakistan, meanwhile, has agreed to let the CIA scour bin Laden's compound. (Read more Osama bin Laden stories.)

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