Cables: U.S. near bin Laden in '08, didn't know it

OSAMA BIN LADEN over his compound CBS/AP

OSAMA BIN LADEN over his compound
CBS/AP
U.S. troops were unwittingly within a few hundreds yards of Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound in October 2008, WikiLeaks cables reveal.

According to a report in the Guardian, diplomatic cables show the U.S. military was "training the trainers" of Pakistan's Frontier Corps. Abbottabad is home to the Pakistan Military Academy.

Special Section: The Killing of Osama bin Laden

The compound where bin Laden was tracked down and killed by Navy SEALs is near the academy. On Tuesday, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said that bin Laden was likely in the highly fortified compound for five or six years, meaning that the U.S. military presence in the city overlapped with his.

The revelation comes in notes about a meeting between then-U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Pakistani officials.

"[Pakistan's national security adviser Mahmud Ali] Durrani pledged Pakistan's support for the U.S. Training-of-Trainers for the Frontier Corps starting in Abbottabad in October," the report read.

It's possible U.S. forces were in Abbottabad for a second time months later, according to the cables, which noted the slow pace of construction of a permanent training site in the city of Warsak. The subsequent training session was scheduled for early 2009.

  • CBS News Staff

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