Pakistani authorities have reportedly arrested about 40 people in Abbottabad who are suspected of having links to Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terror network according to the US government’s Open Source Center.
Abbottabad is the town when bin Laden was found and slain by US Special Forces commandos last Sunday,.
Today’s arrests were conducted by Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, military intelligence and the Abbottabad police, among others.
The U.S. was not involved in the detentions.
Pakistani officials reportedly described the arrests as the “second phase: of the operation that killed bin Laden.
However, according to ABC News, Pakistani officials said the arrests began Sunday night (right after the killing of bin Laden) and has resulted in the arrest of 200 people – although many have been released.
ABC noted that one of the people taken into custody was the man who is believed to have designed the compound where bin Laden was living.
Another man detained was described an important local landowner named Shamroz who owned the property next to bin Laden’s compound. He and his two sons are reportedly being held by police.
Another report from Dawn, an English language news agency in Pakistan, claimed that an interrogation by police of one of bin Laden’s widows revealed that they were living in Haripur – a town about 38 kilometers southwest of Abbottabad – before relocating to Abbottabad.
News of the arrests come on the same day that anti-U.S. rallies were held across Pakistan. About 1,500 members of the Jamiat-e-ulema-e-Islam party demonstrated in Quetta, vowing to continue the jihad (holy war) against the US. The Dawn news service reported that protesters in Quetta chanted the blood of Osama will give birth to thousands of other Osamas.”
There were also similar protests in Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Hyderabad.