Christian Action Network

Daily Terrorism News; WebPage @ www.ChristianAction.Org

Pakistan denies influx of 50 CIA agents

(AFP) Pakistan on Monday denied a report that up to 50 US Central Intelligence Agency officials are in the country hunting for Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. 

The report in the Los Angeles Times at the weekend said a major hunt for bin Laden launched by the CIA last year had unearthed no significant leads on his whereabouts. 

“There is no question of 50 CIA agents looking for bin Laden in Pakistan,” foreign office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told a weekly briefing when asked to comment on the report. 

“We have no real evidence or intelligence on bin Laden’s whereabouts and nobody knows where he is,” she added. 

The LA Times report quoted US officials as saying that Al-Qaeda had a command base in Pakistan’s tribal region bordering Afghanistan that was being increasingly funded by cash coming out of Iraq. 

US officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney when he visited Islamabad earlier this year, have alleged that Al-Qaeda is regrouping in the troubled tribal zone bordering Afghanistan. 

Aslam, however, said there was no Al-Qaeda base on Pakistani soil. 

“There may be some remnants of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan, but we are taking strong action against them,” she said. 

The LA Times said the CIA had deployed as many as 50 clandestine operatives to Pakistan and Afghanistan — a dramatic increase over the number of CIA case officers permanently stationed in those countries. 

All of the new arrivals were given the primary objective of finding what counter-terrorism officials call “high-value targets,” meaning bin Laden and Al-Qaeda’s number two, Ayman al-Zawahri, according to the report. 

Nevertheless, US intelligence and military officials said their latest efforts had yet to produce a single lead on bin Laden’s or al-Zawahri’s location, the LA Times said. 

“We’re not any closer,” the report quotes a senior US military official as saying. 

Bin Laden carries a 25-million-dollar US bounty on his head and is accused of masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States which killed nearly 3,000 people.

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May 21, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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