Osama bin Laden was in routine contact with several senior figures from Pakistan’s military intelligence agency while in hiding in the country, according to a large cache of secret intelligence files.
The disclosure was contained in e-mails from the private US security firm, Stratfor, which were published by WikiLeaks website on Monday after being obtained by the Anonymous hacking group.
Stratfor provides analysis of world affairs to major corporations, military officials and government agencies and was once likened by an American business magazine to a “shadow CIA”.
According to one of the e-mails, the firm was shown the information papers collected from bin Laden’s Abbotabad compound after the US special forces attack last May that resulted in his death.
The e-mail, from a Stratfor analyst, suggested that up to 12 officials in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency knew of the al-Qaeda leader’s safe house.
The internal email did not name the Pakistani officials involved but said the US could use the information as a bargaining chip in post raid negotiations with Islamabad.
American officials have always believed it was impossible for the ISI not to have known that Bin Laden was sheltering in a garrison town so close to Islamabad. Pakistan has repeatedly dismissed the charge.
See any plausable deniability?