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'US ignored its own agency's reports on ISI backing Al Qaeda'

September 25, 2003 17:08 IST

America's Defence Intelligence Agency was aware that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was sponsoring the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but the Bush Administration chose to ignore its findings, a former top Indian intelligence officer has said.

B Raman, former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, analysed three recently de-classified DIA documents of 2001 relating to the Taliban and Al Qaeda and said, "From these documents, it is clear that the DIA knew of the ISI's role in sponsoring not only the Taliban, but also the Al Qaeda."

"Yet the Bush Administration has for over two years chosen to close its eyes to the complicity of Pakistan and to project President General Pervez Musharraf to its own public as well as to the international community as a frontline ally in the war against terrorism. Why? A question to which there has been no convincing answer," he said in an article in Hong Kong-based weekly Asia Times.

The three de-classified documents analysed by him were titled Defense Intelligence Assessment: Osama bin Laden/Al Qaeda Information Operations, Veteran Afghan Traveller's Analysis of Al Qaeda and Taliban's Exploitable Weaknesses and Veteran Afghanistan Traveller's analysis of Al Qaeda and Taliban: Military, political and cultural landscape and its weaknesses. The last two reports were dated September 24, 2001.

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