The often unreliable Depkafile is reporting that the CIA was fooled by an enemy disinformation operation. Depkafile claims that:
al Qaeda or Taliban had managed to plant a false lead with US intelligence by means of informers. This decoy operation had two objectives:
1. To confuse the commanders of the American forces hunting for bin Laden and Mullah Omar and expose their failure to penetrate al Qaeda’s top ranks.
2. To expose US pursuit tactics and uncover any American collaborators in their midst. The speed with which the news of the air raid appeared on US TV channels Friday night was a mark of the CIA’s certainty that this time it had hit one of its primary marks in the war on terror, Zawahiri.
DEBKAfile’s Special Correspondent in Pakistan reported earlier:
The target was a cluster of three houses owned by a jeweler named Abdul Ghafoor, whose relatives were among the victims.
The Pakistani authorities pointed out that in December, the Americans claimed to have killed Abu Hamza Rabia, a leading al-Qaeda operative, in an air strike in the Pakistani tribal area. However, the body was not produced, leaving the American claim in doubt.
DEBKAfile adds: Bajaur is one of the seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA running down the border with Afghanistan. These mountain areas, home to six million inhabitants, have long been used as sanctuaries and rear bases by Al Qaeda and Taliban.
This item is offered, not as a probably factual analysis to be believed, but simply as yet another rumor, evidencing the profusion of possible versions of what actually occurred in the case of one covert wartime action, whose facts we are unlikely to know any time very soon.