ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 15 (UPI) — Pakistan gave Chinese military experts access to a top-secret U.S. stealth helicopter used in the Osama bin Laden raid, Financial Times reported Monday.
The British business newspaper said it learned Chinese military engineers were allowed to take photographs and remove pieces of the high-tech aircraft U.S. forces left behind during the May raid into Pakistan that resulted in the al-Qaida leader’s death.
“The U.S. now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence], gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” a source identified only as being in intelligence circles told Financial Times, referring to the Pakistani spy agency.
The newspaper said people close to the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency said the Chinese were given access to the helicopter by Pakistan, which is displeased the American raid was pulled off without any advance notice.
“We had explicitly asked the Pakistanis in the immediate aftermath of the raid not to let anyone have access to the damaged remains of the helicopter,” one person close to the CIA said.
A senior Pakistani official denied to the Times access was provided to the Chinese. China, the White House and the CIA declined comment, the Times said.
The Chinese were allowed to take samples of the materials used on the helicopter’s skin that make the aircraft undetectable to radar.
Financial Times said U.S. President Barack Obama’s national security council conferred on the matter, with an unidentified senior official quoted as saying it “doesn’t make us happy,” but not much could be done about it.
The special Blackhawk helicopter crashed during the raid and Navy SEALs destroyed much of it to prevent classified technology from being revealed. However, the tail section was mostly intact.