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84% Think It’s Likely Pakistan Knew Where Osama Was Hiding

Friday, May 06, 2011

What did Pakistan know and when did it know it? Americans overwhelmingly believe top Pakistani officials knew Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts and strongly oppose further U.S. aid to the country where the top terrorist was found.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 84% of American Adults think it’s at least somewhat likely that high-level officials in the Pakistani government knew where bin Laden was hiding. That includes 57% who say it is Very Likely they knew. Only nine percent (9%) believe it’s not likely that Pakistan knew. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Just 15% of Americans say the United States should continue military and financial aid to Pakistan. Sixty-three percent (63%) say that aid should not continue. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure.

Only five percent (5%) of adults now regard the country as an ally of the United States, down from 15% in August of last year. Twenty-six percent (26%) view Pakistan as an enemy, although that’s down from 31% in the previous survey. Now the majority (61%) rate it as somewhere in between an ally and an enemy.

These doubts perhaps help to explain why just eight percent (8%) think the United States should have gotten permission from Pakistan before it launched the secret mission against bin Laden within Pakistan’s borders. Seventy-two percent (72%) say that permission was not necessary. Twenty percent (20%) aren’t sure.

Americans overwhelmingly approve of President Obama’s decision to kill bin Laden and don’t believe a greater effort should have been made to bring the terrorist mastermind to trial.

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The two surveys of 1,000 Adults were conducted on May 4-5, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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