Pakistan Let China See 'Stealth' Chopper From bin Laden Raid

Sunday, 14 Aug 2011 05:00 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan gave China access to the previously unknown "stealth" helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May despite explicit requests from the CIA not to, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The revelation, if confirmed, is likely to further shake the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, which has been improving slightly after hitting its lowest point in decades following the May 2 bin Laden raid.

During the raid, one of two modified Blackhawk helicopters, believed to employ unknown stealth capability, malfunctioned and crashed, forcing the commandos to abandon it.

"The U.S. now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad," the paper quoted a person "in intelligence circles" as saying.

Pakistan, which enjoys a close relationship with China, allowed Chinese intelligence officials to take pictures of the crashed chopper as well as take samples of its special "skin" that allowed the American raid to evade Pakistani radar, the newspaper reported.

No one from the Pakistani army was available for comment, but the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Pakistan's top spy agency, denied the report. The paper said Pakistan's top general, chief of army staff Ashfaq Kayani, denied that China had been given access.

The surviving tail section, photos of which were widely distributed on the Internet, was returned to the United States following a trip by U.S. Senator John Kerry in May, a spokesman for the U.S. embassy told Reuters.

Shortly after the raid, Pakistan hinted that it might give China access to the downed chopper, given its fury over the raid, which it considers a grevious violation of its sovereignty.

"We had explicitly asked the Pakistanis in the immediate aftermath of the raid not to let anyone have access to the damaged remains of the helicopter," the Financial Times quoted the source as saying.

In an incident such as the helicopter crash, it is standard American procedure to destroy sophisticated technology such as encrypted communications and navigation computers.

Pakistan is a strategic ally to the United States but the relationship has been on a downward spiral since the killing of the al Qaeda leader in the raid by U.S. forces.

Islamabad was not informed in advance and responded by cutting back on U.S. trainers in the country and placing limits on CIA activities there.

The fact that the al Qaeda chief lived for years near the Pakistani army's main academy in the northwestern garrison town of Abbottabad reinforced suspicions in Washington about Islamabad's reliability in the war against militant Islamists.

There are also growing frustrations with Pakistan over its reluctance to mount offensives against militant factions in the northwest who are fighting U.S.-led foreign forces across the border in Afghanistan.

In a show of displeasure over Pakistan's cutback in U.S. trainers, its limits on visas for U.S. personnel and other bilateral irritants, the United States recently suspended about a third of its $2.7 billion annual defense aid to Pakistan.

Despite this, both sides have tried to prevent a breakdown of relations.

The head of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, visited the United States last month for talks with U.S. government and intelligence officials, which both sides said went well.

Despite the billions in aid, Pakistan still considers China a more reliable ally than the United States. China is a major investor in predominantly Muslim Pakistan in areas such as telecommunications, ports and infrastructure. The countries are linked by a Chinese-built road pushed through Pakistan's northern mountains.

Trade with Pakistan is worth almost $9 billion a year for Pakistan, and China is its top arms supplier.

In the wake of attacks that left 11 people dead in the China's western region of Xinjiang in late July, Pakistan quickly dispatched Lieutenant-General Pasha to Beijing.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

White House Convenes as ISIS Nears Turkey

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:31 AM

The Islamic State (ISIS) reportedly has advanced toward a Kurdish town on the border of Turkey, prompting President Bara . . .

Documents: Kissinger Planned 'Ruthless' Military Reprisal on Cuba

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:19 AM

Angered that his back-channel efforts to improve relations with Cuba had been spurned as Fidel Castro dispatched troops  . . .

Obama, Netanyahu to Meet as Iran Deadline Looms

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 06:30 AM

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet for the first time since a rash of civili . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved