US intelligence officials believe that the suicide bomb attack that killed seven CIA officers in Afghanistan last month was planned with the help of Osama bin Laden’s close allies, raising fears that the al-Qaeda leader is enjoying a lethal resurgence.
They think that the attack could not have taken place without the prior knowledge and assistance of the Haqqanis, the powerful Taliban group thought to be shielding bin Laden.
The attack was carried out by a Jordanian doctor whom the CIA believed was about to divulge the whereabouts of bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al- Zawahiri. It is one of the deadliest blows against the CIA and has increased tensions between the US and Pakistan because of Islamabad’s repeated failure to target the Haqqanis.
One former CIA officer, who did not wish to be named, told The Times that the agency had taped evidence of a Pakistani army officer tipping the Haqqanis off about a raid and a member of Pakistan’s intelligence service boasting that the “Haqqanis are our guys”. Pakistan has ignored US demands to target the strongholds of the Haqqanis’ leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani. The network is said to be behind several audacious attacks, including the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul in July 2008.
Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA unit tracking bin Laden, said: “There is no way this operation would have occurred in Khost without the knowledge and active support of Jalaluddin Haqqani and/or his son. READ MORE: TIMES ONLINE
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