According to Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan's former spy chief, Afghan spies had information four years ago that located Osama bin Laden close to where he was found hiding. However, then Pakistan president, Pervez Musharraf, refused to act on the detailed intelligence reports.
CNN confirmed the account by Saleh, but Musharraf has yet to respond to the allegations. Musharraf in the past has denied having knowledge of where the al Qaeda leader was hiding.
Saleh reported to CNN, "We did a lot of work in the tribal areas of Pakistan... going village to village, recruiting random informants."
Saleh claims that in 2007 his spy network had found al Qaeda hideouts within Pakistan that were thought to be once connected to bin Laden, but that Musharraf disregarded the reports.
"We came to the conclusion that bin Laden was not in the tribal areas."
The intelligence Salah's network gathered al Qaeda safe houses in the town of Manshera, approximately a half hour drive to bin Laden's lair in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Salah said that while the information was good, it was not "actionable intelligence." He passed what was collected to intelligence sources in Pakistan.
Salah claims that while meeting with Pakistan's president Musharraf and Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai, that Musharraf was angered. Musharraf "refused to take action, or at least do a random street-to-street check of that area," Salah recalled.
The Guardian newspaper first reported Saleh's account and what he described as a support for the insurgency by "the Pakistan establishment."
Salah headed the Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security from 2006 to 2010. He presided over the country's hub of intelligence agency. His post ended over a disagreement with Afghan President Karzai in regards to the President's handling of talks with Taliban leadership to end the conflict in their nation.