WASHINGTON: A cell phone found in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan contained contacts to a militant group with ties to Pakistan’s intelligence agency, The New York Times reported, citing senior US officials briefed on the findings.
The discovery indicated that bin Laden used the group, Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, as part of his support network inside Pakistan, the newspaper said, citing officials and some unidentified sources.
The cell phone belonged to bin Laden’s courier, who was killed along with the al Qaeda leader in the May 2 raid by US special forces on bin Laden’s compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad, the Times said on Thursday.
The United States kept Islamabad in the dark about the raid by Navy SEALs until after it was completed, humiliating Pakistan’s armed forces and putting US military and intelligence ties under serious strain. In tracing calls on the cell phone, US analysts determined that Harakat commanders had called Pakistani intelligence officials, the Times reported, citing the senior American officials. (Reuters)