In perhaps the clearest signal yet that tensions between the US and Pakistan are on the rise, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused unnamed parties in Pakistan’s government of harboring al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“I’m not saying that they’re at the highest levels, but I believe that somewhere in this government are people who know where Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda is, where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is, and we expect more cooperation to help us bring to justice, capture or kill those who attacked us on 9/11,” Clinton warned.
US officials have regularly made pointed comments about Pakistan’s status on bin Laden whenever tensions are on the rise, but had held off on those claims in recent months.
Now, it seems, the Obama Administration has returned to the “hard line” position adopted previously, largely as political fallout from the Times Square bombing attempt earlier this month.
Secretary of State Clinton has threatened “very serious consequences” against Pakistan in retaliation for this failed attack, and the sudden (but by no means novel) claims regarding bin Laden are probably just one facet of that retaliation.