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The unusual announcement about the cooperation between the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency appeared aimed at reversing the widespread perception that ties had been badly damaged by bin Laden’s death.

The Pakistanis accused the Americans of violating their sovereignty with the bin Laden raid, while Washington was angry the terror leader had been found in a house in a military garrison town in Pakistan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday praised Pakistan for al-Mauritani’s arrest.

“It’s a tribute to the Pakistanis, who worked with us on this effort to be able to go after him,” Panetta told reporters, adding that he assumes the U.S. will ask the Pakistani authorities for permission to interrogate the suspect.

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AP National Security Writer Robert Burns contributed to this report.