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AP sources: Pakistanis tip off militants again
Question of the Day
The official admitted that in each raid, however, the Pakistani security services notified the local elders who hold sway in the tribal regions. Speaking anonymously to discuss intelligence matters, the official said they would investigate U.S. charges that the militants had been tipped off.
Two U.S. officials said they were asking the Pakistanis to withhold such sensitive information from the elders, and even their lower ranks, to carry out their raids in secret, to prove they could be trusted to go after U.S. enemies.
At least two of the sites were run by the Haqqani network, which is part of the Taliban, closely allied with al-Qaida, and blamed for some of the deadliest attacks against U.S. troops and civilians in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan has long resisted attacking the Haqqani network, saying the group has never attacked the state of Pakistan.
The intelligence sharing was intended as a precursor to building a new joint intelligence team of CIA officers together with Pakistani intelligence agents. But U.S. officials say Pakistan has failed to quickly approve the visas needed, despite agreeing to form the team in May.
Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, confirmed Sunday that Pakistan had rounded up more than 30 people as part of the investigation. He said they were being questioned for information, not punished, but did not say what would happen to them if charged and found guilty of spying.
Speaking on ABC, Haqqani said if any among them were informants who worked for the CIA, “we will deal with them as we would deal with an offending intelligence service and we will resolve this to the satisfaction of our friends, as well as to our own laws.”
The Pakistani government, according to the official reached earlier, views any citizen who worked with the U.S. to spy on the compound as having betrayed his or her country by failing to tip off the government that someone the Americans wanted was hiding there. The government’s position, the official said, is that such a tip could have saved the Pakistani government the embarrassment of being surprised by the bin Laden raid.
• Associated Press writer Sebastian Abbot in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed to this report.
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