Pakistan Arrests CIA Informants Tied To Bin Laden

Jun 15, 2011
Originally published on June 15, 2011 5:30 am
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Hi, Julie.


INSKEEP: So what do you know about who was taken into custody and why?

MCCARTHY: Now, here in Islamabad there is confirmation that alleged informants were detained, but the Army spokesman said no army major was involved and that story is, quote, "baseless."

INSKEEP: So one essential fact is acknowledged by everybody, that some people were detained after the bin Laden raid, but there seemed to be competing narratives about what that means as well as competing details.

MCCARTHY: But by the same token, they're angered at their own army, who they feel let the country down by allowing the Americans to swoop in and take bin Laden undetected. So the Pakistani army is trying to repair its image. And having an army major secretly assisting the Americans certainly wouldn't help, and that's part of the story that they are denying.

INSKEEP: So as you try to track these competing narratives, is there a sense of why some people were detained in Pakistan for passing information to the United States?

MCCARTHY: There is an effort here, Steve, to portray this as sort of normal operating procedures, as part and parcel of what any country would do in Pakistan - she was investigating what happened. I think from the United States perspective, this would not be considered normal operating procedure and the CIA director is said to have raised the arrest of these CIA informants when he was here this weekend.

INSKEEP: How does this fit in with another piece of news from recent days, Julie McCarthy, the news that the United States tried to share information with Pakistan about the location of some militant bomb-making facilities and the militants were tipped off before they could be raided?

MCCARTHY: But they are also fighting a rear guard in Congress that wants answers on Pakistan's performance in working with the U.S. and is seeking to limit U.S. aid to Pakistan. So even as the stakes are high, the relations are becoming more fraught.

INSKEEP: Julie, thanks very much.

MCCARTHY: Thank you.

INSKEEP: NPR's Julie McCarthy is in Islamabad. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.