Cellphone links Osama to Pakistan spies

2011-06-24 08:15

Washington - A cellphone used by Osama bin Laden's courier appears to show that the al-Qaeda leader was aided by militants linked to Pakistani intelligence, The New York Times said Thursday.

Citing US officials briefed on an investigation into the phone, the Times said calls from the device were traced to Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, a militant group linked to Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

"It's a serious lead," one US official told the Times. "It's an avenue we're investigating."

Another US official told the daily that the link was not, however, a "smoking gun" that definitively linked bin Laden to the ISI, as it was unclear if the calls were related to him.

The phone was seized during a daring US commando raid in Pakistan last month in which both bin Laden and his courier were killed.

The Pakistan-based Harakat ul-Mujahideen is classified as a "terrorist" organisation by the United States.

Defence analysis group Jane's said the outfit has conducted raids on Indian security positions and is active in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The Times said it has maintained clandestine links with the ISI for years.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States, tense at the best of times, deteriorated sharply over the Bin Laden raid, which humiliated the Pakistani military and invited allegations of incompetence and complicity.

As US President Barack Obama seeks to bring an end to the war in Pakistan's neighbour Afghanistan, US and Pakistani officials have sought to play down any unease between them.

  • Max - 2011-06-24 09:23

    The USA is classified as a "terrorist" organization by me

      Rob Gunning - 2011-06-24 09:29

      You can't classify a geographical landmass as an organisation twit face.

      420 - 2011-06-24 10:58

      @max, yip. Hypocrites the lot of them...

      Max - 2011-06-24 11:06

      Rob, the USA is not a landmass, North America is. The USA is a military industrial machine that lies through its teeth to their own people and the rest of the world.

      Max - 2011-06-24 11:55

      Oh and Rob, while we're at it, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook just opened a new website, just for you!

      Sifiso - 2011-06-24 12:06

      Maybe not an organisation but Terrorist, yes the US IS. Even it's own citizens live under terror, real or imagined. Now the focus is on Africa. The US's military might and idiocy will be it's downfall. And they're such liers.

      customdesign - 2011-06-24 13:40

      Max, I hope you dont watch hollywood movies, or read American books, or listen to American music or have a part in their culture, because as much as you do you are supporting and buying into that organisation which would in effect make you a part of the organisation you are labelling. I think the US rocks, and if it is a terrorist organisation, at least it is cool.

      Rob Gunning - 2011-06-24 14:30

      @Max - If the USA is not a landmass, how would you describe the landmass area of North America excluding Alaska and Canada? Unless I am missing something vital, I would assume this area is named the USA? Would love to hear your reply.

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