New York Times bin Laden Report Censored in Pakistan

Saturday, 22 Mar 2014 07:35 PM

By Todd Beamon

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A New York Times report detailing Pakistan's knowledge of Osama bin Laden's presence in the country before a team of Navy SEALs found and killed him in a raid was censored in the country by a local publisher, the newspaper said on Saturday.

The report, based on a book by a Times correspondent who covered Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2001 to 2013, was left out of about 9,000 copies of the International New York Times.

A large blank space appeared on page A1 of the Times' international edition where the article should have appeared, the Times reported. Images of the censored page circulated widely on social media.


Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, said the decision was made by the local publisher, The Express Tribune, "without our knowledge or agreement."

The local company recently faced an attack by an extremist group, she said.

"While we understand that our publishing partners are sometimes faced with local pressures," Murphy said, "we regret any censorship of our journalism."

The article was available to readers online, the Times reports.

Written by Carlotta Gall, the report disclosed that Pakistani intelligence officials knew bin Laden was there long before the 2011 Navy SEALs raid and that those officials allowed him to travel around freely.

In addition, the United States most likely learned of that information "in the days after the raid," Gall wrote.

The report was an excerpt from Gall's book — "The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014" — which is to be published next month. The Times published the excerpt in its U.S. editions on Wednesday.


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