Pakistanis sneak up to Bin Laden
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: CIA-sponsored Pakistani agents have infiltrated the outer core of Al Qaeda in the high-gear American effort to grab Osama bin Laden.
The Pakistani agents, who are joined by Afghans and Uzbeks, are “beyond foot soldiers but not in the inner circle.” These agents “are more senior than the agents (the United States had) three years ago, who were on the periphery,” a senior intelligence official told Washington Post, according to a report published Saturday.
US intelligence believes that Al Qaeda today has a far less capable team than it had before the 9/11 attacks. However, Al Qaeda would “still want to continue to attack us in the ways they did three years ago,” the official said.
According to a CIA official, “We have busted plots repeatedly” undertaken by “serious Al Qaeda players” involving both aircraft and ships, some in Northeast Asia, others in Southeast Asia. He said intelligence on the possibility of other attacks had recently been strong. “I wouldn’t characterise what we have now as chatter. I think we have some fairly specific information that Al Qaeda wants to come after us,” he added.