(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON - Pakistan's top military spy agency has arrested five CIA informants who fed information to the US spy agency before the raid last month which killed Osama bin Laden, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
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One of the detainees was reported to be a Pakistani Army major whom officials said copied license plates of cars visiting the al-Qaida leader's compound 30 miles northwest of Islamabad.
The fate of the CIA informants arrested in Pakistan is unclear, the newspaper reported, citing American officials.
Outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta raised the issue of the informants'
detention during a trip to Islamabad last week where he met with with
Pakistani military and intelligence officers, the newspaper said.
Some in Washington see the arrest as another sign of the deep disconnect
between US and Pakistani priorities in the fight against extremists,
The United States kept Islamabad in the dark about the May 2 raid by
Navy SEALs until after it was completed, humiliating Pakistan's armed
forces and putting US military and intelligence ties under serious
Last week, at a closed Senate Intelligence Committee briefing, Deputy
CIA Director Michael Morell rated Pakistan's cooperation with the United
States on counterterrorism operations a "three" on a scale of 1 to 10,
the Times reported, citing officials familiar with the exchange.
Other officials cautioned that his comments did not represent the
administration's overall assessment, the newspaper said. "We have a
strong relationship with our Pakistani counterparts and work through
issues when they arise," CIA spokesman Marie Harf told the newspaper.
"Director Panetta had productive meetings last week in Islamabad. It's a
crucial partnership, and we will continue to work together in the fight
against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups who threaten our country
Asked about the Times
report, a CIA spokeswoman neither confirmed nor denied it and said she had no further comment.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, was quoted
as saying that the CIA. and the Pakistani spy agency "are working out
mutually agreeable terms for their cooperation in fighting the menace of
terrorism. It is not appropriate for us to get into the details at this