Phone Suggests bin Laden Link to Pakistan Intelligence

His courier had contact info to militant group with ISI connections
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2011 4:56 AM CDT
Updated Jun 24, 2011 7:53 AM CDT
A cellphone of bin Laden's trusted courier recovered in the U.S. contained contacts to a militant group that is a longtime partner of Pakistan's intelligence agency.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Al-Jazeera via APTN, File)

(Newser) – The cellphone of Osama bin Laden's infamous courier, who was killed along with the al-Qaeda leader, contained contact information to a militant group with longstanding connections to Pakistan's intelligence agency, reports the New York Times. It's not a "smoking gun," say officials, but it certainly adds to the suspicion that bin Laden operated in Pakistan with the approval of the ISI. "It's a serious lead," says one US official. "It's an avenue we’re investigating."

Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen was one of many military groups set up in the 1980s and '90s with the assistance of Pakistan's ISI agency to help fight in Afghanistan and India's Kashmir. “The question of ISI and Pakistani Army complicity in bin Laden’s hide-out now hangs like a dark cloud over the entire relationship” between Pakistan and the United States, a former CIA officer says. Militant commanders who have received support from ISI—which has a long history with bin Laden—say they're convinced the agency helped shelter him after 9/11.

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