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Scepticism in Pakistan over bin Laden’s alleged role

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Kamran Haider
Reuters
May 8, 2011

Pakistani security officials reacted with scepticism on Sunday to a U.S. assertion that Osama bin Laden was actively engaged in directing his far-flung network from his compound in Abbottabad where he was killed on May 2.

Washington said on Saturday that, based on a trove of documents and computer equipment seized in the raid, bin Laden’s hideout north of Islamabad was an “active command and control centre” for al Qaeda where he was involved in plotting future attacks on the United States.

“It sounds ridiculous,” said a senior intelligence official. “It doesn’t sound like he was running a terror network.”

Pakistan, heavily dependent on billions of dollars in U.S. aid, is under intense pressure to explain how the al Qaeda leader could have spent so many years undetected just a few hours’ drive from its intelligence headquarters in the capital.

Suspicion has deepened that Pakistan’s pervasive Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, which has a long history of contacts with militant groups, may have had ties with bin Laden — or that at least some of its agents did. The agency has been described as a state within a state.

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This article was posted: Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 9:06 am





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