Monday, March 10
Pakistan Says Al Qaeda Captive Met With Bin Laden
John Lancaster,, March 11, 2003

ISLAMABAD -- Breaking its official silence on the recent arrest of top al Qaeda lieutenant Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Pakistan's secretive Inter-Services Intelligence agency today said that Mohammed told interrogators he met with Osama bin Laden in December, but wouldn't tell them where. [...]

Officials from the intelligence agency, known as ISI, rarely make themselves available to the foreign press. In keeping with the reputation for secrecy, the ISI officials who conducted the briefing declined to give their names.

The most powerful of Pakistan's multiple security services, the organization worked closely with Afghanistan's Taliban movement andhas provided training and logistical support to Islamic groups fighting Indian forces in Kashmir. But ISI officials said they wanted to counter the impression that the agency was not serious about fighting terrorism or did so only because the United States gave it no choice.

"We thought it was necessary because this organization is making tremendous efforts to combat terrorism," said one of the briefers. "We are not getting our due."

Over tea and sandwiches in their modern headquarters here, ISI officials gave a slide presentation summarizing Pakistan's anti-terror efforts and then showed a videotape that they said showed the pre-dawn raid that netted Mohammed and another senior al Qaeda figure, Mustafa Ahmed Hawsawi, in the city of Rawalpindi earlier this month [...]
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