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Thursday
January 2021
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News Headlines
Unlucky Kerala shares spoil with Jamshedpur        England team lands in Chennai, Indians arrive in batches for first two tests        Israel military revising operational plans against Iran        France's Sanofi to boost Pfizer vaccine supply amid EU shortages        Hero MotoCorp to commence its operations in Mexico soon        GHIAL to raise US $300 Mn through bond issue for Hyderabad airport expansion        Cabinet approves MSP of Copra for 2021 season        Rajnath speaks to his US counterpart, the two NSAs also talk, Indo-US ties to deepen further        RJD should cancel it's proposed human chain in view of Republic Day violence: Sushil        Two farmer unions withdraw from protest against farm laws        One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India in just 6 days: Health ministry        England near Sri Lanka's 1st innings total after Root's 186        Srikanth resumes training after BAI gets mandatory quarantine time reduced        Melbourne century very special as it was crucial for series victory, says Rahane        FinMin allocates Rs 660 cr additional funds to MP for capex        Markets may remain volatile in holiday-shortened week: Analysts        US condemns Russia's use of harsh tactics against protesters, journalists        Egypt says it has launched vaccination against coronavirus        Qureshi says Pakistan ready to work with new US administration        MP government trying to crush farmers' voice: Kamal Nath        
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International News
Certain elements inside Pak military had links to al-Qaeda: Obama on raid that killed Osama
 
Washington: Barack Obama has said that he had ruled out involving Pakistan in the raid on Osama bin Laden''s hideout because it was an "open secret" that certain elements inside Pakistan''s military, and especially its intelligence services, maintained links to the Taliban and perhaps even al-Qaeda, sometimes using them as strategic assets against Afghanistan and India. Giving a blow-by-blow account of the Abbottabad raid by American commandos that killed the world''s most wanted terrorist on May 2, 2011 in his latest book "A Promised Land", the former US president said that the top secret operation was opposed by the then defence secretary Robert Gates and his former vice president Joe Biden, who is now the President-elect.

In the book that hit the stands globally on Tuesday, America''s first Black president described the various options of killing bin Laden once it became increasingly clear that the elusive al Qaeda chief was living in a safe hideout on the outskirts of a Pakistani military cantonment in Abbottabad. “Based on what I''d heard, I decided we had enough information to begin developing options for an attack on the compound. While the CIA team continued to work on identifying the Pacer, I asked Tom Donilon and John Brennan to explore what a raid would look like,” Obama writes in his memoir. The need for secrecy added to the challenge; if even the slightest hint of our lead on bin Laden leaked, we knew our opportunity would be lost.

As a result, only a handful of people across the entire federal government were read into the planning phase of the operation, he said. “We had one other constraint: Whatever option we chose could not involve the Pakistanis,” he wrote. “Although Pakistan''s government cooperated with us on a host of counterterrorism operations and provided a vital supply path for our forces in Afghanistan, it was an open secret that certain elements inside the country''s military, and especially its intelligence services, maintained links to the Taliban and perhaps even al-Qaeda, sometimes using them as strategic assets to ensure that the Afghan government remained weak and unable to align itself with Pakistan''s number one rival, India,” Obama revealed.

“The fact that the Abbottabad compound was just a few miles from the Pakistan military''s equivalent of West Point only heightened the possibility that anything we told the Pakistanis could end up tipping off our target. "Whatever we chose to do in Abbottabad, then, would involve violating the territory of a putative ally in the most egregious way possible, short of war— raising both the diplomatic stakes and the operational complexities,” he wrote. In the final stages they were discussing two options. The first was to demolish it with an air strike. The second option was to authorise a special ops mission, in which a select team would covertly fly into Pakistan via helicopter, raid the compound, and get out before the Pakistani police or military had time to react.

Despite all the risks involved, Obama and his national security team opted for the second option, but not before multiple rounds of discussions and intensive planning. The day before he gave the final approval for the raid, at a Situation Room meeting, Hillary Clinton, the then Secretary of State, said that it was a 51-49 call. “Gates recommended against a raid, although he was open to considering the strike option,” he said. “Joe (Biden) also weighed in against the raid, arguing that given the enormous consequences of failure, I should defer any decision until the intelligence community was more certain that bin Laden was in the compound. "As had been true in every major decision I''d made as president, I appreciated Joe''s willingness to buck the prevailing mood and ask tough questions, often in the interest of giving me the space I needed for my own internal deliberations,” Obama wrote.

After the successful Abbottabad raid, Obama made a number of calls domestically and internationally, the toughest of which he expected to be that with the then Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, he wrote. “I expected my most difficult call to be with Pakistan''s beleaguered president, Asif Ali Zardari, who would surely face a backlash at home over our violation of Pakistani sovereignty. When I reached him, however, he expressed congratulations and support. ''Whatever the fallout,'' he said, ''it''s very good news.” He showed genuine emotion, recalling how his wife, Benazir Bhutto, had been killed by extremists with reported ties to al-Qaeda,” Obama wrote.

“Mike Mullen had put a call in to Pakistan''s army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and while the conversation had been polite, Kayani had requested that we come clean on the raid and its target as quickly as possible in order to help his people manage the reaction of the Pakistani public,” he said. Laden, the world''s most wanted terrorist, was the chief of al-Qaeda that carried out the 9/11 attacks on twin towers in New York, killing nearly 3,000 people. He was killed in a covert raid by a US Navy SEAL team at his Abbottabad compound in Pakistan.


Israel military revising operational plans against Iran
France's Sanofi to boost Pfizer vaccine supply amid EU shortages
US condemns Russia's use of harsh tactics against protesters, journalists
Egypt says it has launched vaccination against coronavirus
Qureshi says Pakistan ready to work with new US administration
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87
UN: Violence in Sudan's Darfur killed 250, displaced 100,000
At 78 and the oldest president, Biden sees a world changed
Experts: 15 more days to reach trapped China mine workers
Global Teacher Prize winner Ranjitsinh Disale hails Biden's education focus
India provides 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal
China silent on why its top leaders are yet to take COVID-19 vaccine
''Democracy has prevailed,'' says Biden in his maiden speech as US President
Census Bureau director to resign amid criticism over data
California becomes first state to top 3 million virus cases
Biden to propose 8-year citizenship path for immigrants
N. Korea''s parliament rubber stamps new development plans
Kremlin critic Navalny detained after landing in Moscow
'Rooting hard for you': Will departure notes end with Trump?
Kremlin critic Navalny departs Berlin on Moscow-bound flight
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
George Clooney says Capitol attack put Trump family 'into the dustbin of history'
 Los Angeles: Hollywood star George Clooney has condemned the attack on the Capitol Hill in the US by  
'Mean Girls' won't be returning to Broadway
Ian McKellan is 'happy' Elliot Page came out as transgender
A R Rahman thanks fans for support during 'difficult times'
KERALA NEWS
Fire in luggage van of running train doused in time in Kerala
 Thiruvananthapuram: A fire broke out in a luggage van of a running train in Kerala on Sunday and was
Kerala logs 5,005 new COVID-19 cases, 4,408 recoveries
5,960 new COVID-19 cases, 27 deaths in Kerala
Kerala transport corporation MD alleges Rs 100-crore scam
NATIONAL NEWS
Cabinet approves MSP of Copra for 2021 season
 New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on We
Rajnath speaks to his US counterpart, the two NSAs also talk, Indo-US ties to deepen further
RJD should cancel it's proposed human chain in view of Republic Day violence: Sushil
MP government trying to crush farmers' voice: Kamal Nath
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