Pakistani military and intelligence officials should answer many questions to prove that they did not know where Osama bin Laden had been hiding before he was killed in a U.S. raid on Monday, a senior U.S. senator said.
The compound where the al-Qaeda leader was killed is located about 100 meters from a Pakistani military academy in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, which has raised questions whether the Pakistani military could know where the world's most wanted terrorist was hiding.
"There isn't any question that Pakistani officials, army and intelligence have a lot of questions to answer, given the location of the compound, the length of time he was there and that this facility was apparently built for bin Laden," Carl Levin, D-Mich., who heads the U.S. Senate's Armed Services Committee, told journalists in Washington on Monday.
Controversial statements by U.S. and Pakistani officials over the raid make it difficult to assess the contribution of the Pakistani intelligence and military to the killing of bin Laden.
After U.S. President Barack Obama announced the death of bin Laden, U.S. intelligence officials told journalists in Washington that the Pakistani authorities had not been informed about the raid being prepared by the U.S. military.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said later on Monday that a "close cooperation" with Pakistani special services helped the United States to "achieve our targets."
The statement came amid media reports that a Pakistani helicopter had been shot down by unknown people close to bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad before two U.S. helicopters flew to the site.
A photo of the crashed helicopter was published on the Internet, and witnesses were quoted by media reports as saying that they had seen the wreckage. Obama said no U.S. troops have been killed in the operation.
Some military experts said the United States was unlikely to have informed the Pakistani authorities about the planned operation, because otherwise bin Laden would have escaped as a result of information leaks.
The other side: Obama should review his policies towards Muslim
"I think that the elimination of bin Laden is useful for Obama in the context of his [future] presidential campaign, because he has been repeatedly criticized for his unsuccessful policies towards the Middle East, and today his chances to be re-elected to a second term have increased," Vitaly Naumkin said, speaking during a scientific meeting in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
But it is unlikely that bin Laden's death will put an end to terrorism, he said.
"Another leader will replace him, because the motivation and causes for the existence of international terrorist networks remain in place," Naumkin said.
"In order to achieve new success in his fight against terrorism, Obama should manage to change the [U.S.] position towards the Islamic world," he said, adding that first and foremost, Obama should step up his efforts to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict and create an independent Palestinian state by the end of the year."If he does not do this, the success of this operation will come to nothing," the expert said.
Obama's attempt to resume direct peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians failed last year just weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Washington in September following a 20-month break.The issue of continuing Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank remains a major sticking point between the sides which has prevented them from resuming peace negotiations.
The United States postponed last month a meeting of the Quartet of international mediators of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for the second time in a month, and no new date for the talks has been set.
Answer to Obama: No excuse for Western invasion in Middle East after bin Laden death - Iranian Foreign Ministry
Western powers no longer have an excuse for invading Middle Eastern countries, the ISNA news agency quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.
"Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that no excuse is left for foreign countries to send forces to the region to fight terrorism," Mehmanparast said. "We hope the event [bin Laden's death] would end the war, conflict and killing of innocent people and help establish peace and calm in the region," he said.
Bin Laden, the symbol of global terrorism who was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, has been killed in a helicopter raid on his compound some 50km from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. The operation was carried out by a small special forces team of US Navy Seals in the early hours of Monday.
Mehmanparast said the operation showed that "there is no need to send a massive army to confront only one person."
Less then a month after the 9/11 attacks, the United States sent its troops to Afghanistan in a bid to capture bin Laden and defeat al-Qaeda and Taliban as part of a so-called "global war on terror" declared by then-President George Bush.
In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq to remove its leader Saddam Hussein, who was accused of funding terrorist organizations and developing weapons of mass destruction.