No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden is a recently released book by “Mark Owen” about “Operation Neptune Spear”, the mission that eventually killed Osama Bin Laden, in Abbottabad on 2nd May 2011. Mark Owen is a pseudonym and NOT the real name of the author. Why would an author choose a pseudonym while writing a book? Because he was actually part of the Navy Seals team that killed Osama Bin Laden. He has though now been identified as Matt Bissonnette.
Jeff Emanuel has been analyzing the contents of this book in various posts for Red State. Who is Jeff Emanuel? He is a former US Air Force Tactical Air Controller and has worked with conventional and special operations units as a communication expert and air strike controller. He served on duty as part of special operations task force in Iraq.
So there you have it. A former US Navy Seal, part of the team that killed Osama Bin Laden writes a book on the operation. A former US Air Force air strike controller analyses it. Credible people, one would think. Therefore, what they write must be taken seriously.
In an article for Red State, titled “India, Abbottabad, and Osama bin Laden: Did New Delhi Assist the U.S. on Operation Neptune Spear?” , Jeff asks a very intriguing question – was India aware in advance of the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden? And was it only aware or it actively help the US in bringing the mission to success?
This conjecture by Jeff is based on the flight path the US Black Hawk helicopters took while ferrying the Navy Seals to Osama’s compound. As per the flight path shown in Owen’s book, (appended below), it would appear that the US helicopters flew from Afghanistan, into Indian airspace before reentering Pakistan near and on to Osama’s compound.
Jeff in his piece has analyzed the various angles of this sensational possibility so I am not going to repeat them again. The purpose of this post was to start some questions that arise from Jeff’s piece.
Question 01 : Could Jeff be wrong that India was aware of the US plans and possible that it was actually caught napping as US helicopters entered and exited Indian airspace? Jeff, with his considerable experience and expertise does not suggest this. So let us discount this possibility.
Question 02 : If India was indeed aware of the US plans, then what was it told and how much?
Question 03 : Did India only give a go ahead to US to use its airspace or it also helped in other ways? For example, as Jeff asks, did India help US in identifying blind spots in Pakistan Air Defense through which the US helicopters could sneak in? Consider, that almost entire Indian Air Force offense scenarios are built with Pakistan in mind. Who better than India than to know their blind spots?
Question 04 : Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, was extradited to India by Saudi Arabia in June 2012. This is a first in history of war against terror, that an Arabic country has defied Pakistan and extradited a terror suspect to India. As multiple reports have suggested, this was done after a year long effort and interventions at highest levels of US intelligence and others. Why would US go to such great lengths for India?
Question 05 : Operation Neptune Spear took place on 2nd May 2011. Less than a year later, US had announced a $10 Million bounty on Hafiz Saeed. Between Operation Neptune Spear and April 2012, when bounty on Hafiz was announced, no new information had come in public domain about Hafiz. He was not alleged to be involved in any new terror activity during this intervening period. So what changed to warrant such a major step?
Hafiz Saeed is a very important asset for Pakistan, with whom even mainstream Pakistani politicians, like Imran Khan, do not hesitate to be seen in public. Why would US go to such public lengths to brand such a person?
Was Abu Jundal part of the bargain struck with India – US would help India get some of its most wanted, which otherwise it had no hope e of ever getting? Was the bounty on Hafiz Saeed, a quid pro quo for India’s help in Operation Kill Osama? This would fit neatly with Jeff’s analysis if India did indeed help US with such a critical mission, so critical that it is one of the main planks on which Obama is building his reelection campaign.
Question 06 : If India did help US, then who in the Indian hierarchy took the decision?
Fascinating story this. Watch out for more developments.