Pakistan’s intelligence service believes it deserves credit for helping US spy agencies locate the hideout of Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US commandos nearly a year ago, the Washington Post reported.
“The lead and the information actually came from us,” an unnamed senior official with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) told the Post.
The al-Qaeda founder and 9/11 mastermind was killed on May 2 last year in a secret US Navy SEAL operation in a walled-off compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.
Washington and Islamabad are now working to repair their relationship, which was badly damaged by the revelation that the world’s most wanted man was living a stone’s throw from Pakistan’s elite military academy.
“Any hit on al-Qaeda anywhere in the world has happened with our help,” the Post quotes one of the Pakistani intelligence officials as saying.
The other official, who said he had been intimately involved in the hunt for senior al-Qaeda operatives, including bin Laden, said the ISI provided the CIA with a cellphone number that eventually led to an al-Qaeda courier using the nom de guerre of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, the paper said.
The officials said that in November 2010, they turned over the number to the CIA, along with information that it had last been detected in Abbottabad, the report said.
The ISI said that it did not know then that the number was al-Kuwaiti’s, but that CIA analysts did, although they did not relay that information back to the Pakistanis, the Post said.
“They knew who the number belonged to,” the paper quoted one official as saying. “But after that, their cooperation with us ended.”
“It is the story of an extreme trust deficit and betrayal,” the other ISI official said, according to the paper.
However a US official disputed the ISI version, the Post said.
“The fact is, our knowledge of the number didn’t come from them telling us about it,” the paper quoted the US official as saying.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and