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Gates: 'No Evidence' Pakistani Leadership Knew Of Bin Laden Hideout, But 'Somebody' Did

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates (file photo)

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates (file photo)

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen say they've seen "no evidence" that Pakistan's leadership knew of former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's hideout near a military academy in the town of Abbottabad.

Gates, however, said he had "a supposition shared by a number in [the U.S.] government" that bin Laden's whereabouts were known to someone in Pakistan.

"I've seen no evidence at all that the senior leadership knew," Gates said. "In fact, I've seen some evidence to the contrary. And we have no evidence yet with respect to anybody else. My supposition is [that] somebody knew."

Mullen said information on whether bin Laden had Pakistani protectors could possibly come out of U.S. analysis of materials seized from bin Laden's compound.

Speaking at a press conference in Washington, Gates and Mullen also expressed concern at the amount of details that have been leaked to the public on how the May 2 raid that killed bin Laden was carried out.

Gates said the leaks could make carrying out a similar operation in the future "both more difficult and riskier."

Gates also cautioned against cutting U.S. aid to Pakistan -- a strategy that a number of lawmakers are pushing Congress to consider.