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CIA 'bin Laden informants' released by Pak spy agency 'subsequently gone missing'

June 16, 2011 - Islamabad

The alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) informants who were released by Pakistan's premier spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), have subsequently gone missing.

Pakistan had arrested five alleged CIA informants who helped the United States plan the unilateral military raid that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in northern Pakistan on May 2, the BBC reports.

In the wake of bin Laden's death, many American agents have been forced to leave Pakistan, while Pakistani officials and civilians suspected of helping the CIA may soon appear in court, the report said.

Dozens of people have been arrested and released by Pakistani security agencies since the death of the Al-Qaeda leader - and at least five of them have not yet been released, it added.

According to the report, the Pakistani authorities appear to be making every effort to unearth CIA informants while showing little interest in arresting Taliban and Al-Qaeda sympathisers.

Soon after the May 2 raid, witnesses said that two brothers - both cousins of bin Laden's courier - were picked up from their village in the northwestern Shangla district.

A member of the security forces was also picked up from the Ilyasi Masjid area near the Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, according to witnesses.

It is not known whether he belonged to the intelligence wing of the police or the army, the report said, adding that he remains unaccounted for to date.

The contractor who built the bin Laden compound, Noor Mohammad alias Gul Madah, a property dealer identified by witnesses as Kaleem, bin Laden's neighbour Shamrez and his father Zain Mohammad were arrested in the weeks following the killing.

All of them - apart from Kaleem - were later released although they have subsequently gone missing, the report said, adding that it is not clear whether these men were among the alleged CIA informants arrested.

Meanwhile, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesman Brigadier Azmat Abbas told the BBC that among those arrested were people "captured during a raid at a house located close to the Bin Laden compound".

"We suspect them of having been working for CIA," he said. "Others being interrogated include people who used to visit the compound."

Brigadier Abbas said that two categories of people were among those arrested - those who threw flares into the Bin Laden compound to guide approaching US helicopters, and those who helped the helicopters refuel within Pakistani territory.


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