Elisabeth Meinecke

Rep. Pete King of New York continued to express concern during a Homeland Security hearing committee Tuesday that a large, 12 to 18 foot walled compound could have housed Osama bin Laden for six years without detection right under the nose of Pakistani officials.

He said that left two possibilities, one being direct facilitation of bin Laden's presence by elements of the Pakistani government, or that "Pakistani intelligence is entirely inept," which, he added, he thinks highly unlikely based on past performance.

While relationships with Pakistan have been mixed, as King stated, hearing panelist Dr. Frederick Kagan said there's no simple solution to the dilemma with Pakistan, which has put on the appearance of cooperating with the United States. Kagan spoke at a subcommittee hearing held by chairman and Rep. Patrick Meehan on threats to the U.S. that originate in Pakistan.

Kagan said one of the densest concentrations of the most militant Islamic organizations in the world now reside in Pakistan and have been allowed somewhat free reign.

One severe challenge within Pakistan is the group known as Lashkar-e-Taiba or LeT, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Stephen Tankel. LeT, though not officially affiliated with al Qaeda, began contributing to the group's cause after 9/11. Pakistani officials have seemed reluctant to take on the group, whose immediate focus is jihad in India and domestic aid at home, a crusade which coincides with Pakistani interest. LeT also has the structure to recruit radicalized Westerners, although it has traditionally used them for activities in South Asia.

In addition, Pakistan terrorist groups have provided training to would-be operatives in the U.S., including five Americans from Virginia who radicalized in the U.S., headed to Pakistan for training, and were finally arrested there. The Times Square bomber was trained by the Pakistani group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Panel witness Dr. Seth Jones, of The RAND corporation, also observed that "evidence suggests that al Qai'da leaders retain an unparalleled relationship with local networks in the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier."


Elisabeth Meinecke

Elisabeth Meinecke is TOWNHALL MAGAZINE Managing Editor. Follow her on Twitter @lismeinecke.