Pakistan Busts CIA's bin Laden Informants

Army major among arrested informants who aided US: NYT
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2011 1:20 AM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2011 7:52 AM CDT
Local residents and media are seen outside the house where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan.    (AP Photo/Aqeel Ahmed, File)

(Newser) – The reward for at least five Pakistanis for helping the CIA find terror boss Osama bin Laden was to be arrested by their nation's military spy agency. The New York Times reports that those busted include a man who owned a safe house in Abbottabad from which CIA agents observed the bin Laden compound and a Pakistani Army major who copied the license plates of cars visiting the compound. But a Pakistani army rep today denied the Times' claim that the major was detained, calling the report "false and totally baseless," notes NPR.

The fate of the arrested informants is unclear. CIA chief Leon Panetta raised the issue during meetings with senior security officials in Pakistan last week, US officials say. At a recent closed Senate Intelligence Committee meeting, deputy CIA director Michael Morrell reportedly gave Pakistan a 3 out of 10 when asked to rate the nation's counter-terrorism cooperation with the US. A CIA spokeswoman downplayed the ongoing friction between the two allies, saying Panetta had productive meetings in Pakistan.

My Take on This Story