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Pakistan says it has set free Osama bin Laden's bodyguard on the basis that he was not a "key player" in the Al Qaeda terror group, and "had no information of great value."
Pakistan says it has set free Osama bin Laden's bodyguard on the basis that he was not a "key player" in the Al Qaeda terror group, and "had no information of great value," according to reports.
"Eventually there was nothing that could be used to keep holding him in custody," a Pakistani official told CBS News.
The Telegraph was the first to report Pakistan's move on Thursday, citing a senior Pakistani security official as saying al-Haq was "arrested mistakenly, therefore, the police failed to prove any charge of his association with Osama bin Laden and the court set him free."
Al Haq had escaped from Afghanistan with bin Laden in 2001 and become a key financial aide to the Al Qaeda leader, Fox News reports, adding that he was detained in Lahore three years ago by Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI.
The ISI passed al-Haq on to the police before he was released earlier this month, the Telegraph reports.
Pakistan has a poor track record of convicting terrorists, blamed in part on an ill-equipped police force and an overstretched judicial service.
The White House, meantime, has tried to distance itself from comments on Pakistan made by Admiral Mike Mullen, the top U.S. military officer, to a senate hearing last week.
Mullen called the ISI a "veritable arm" of the Afghanistan-based anti-American Haqqani insurgent network.
Mullen's comments came under scrutiny in both Washington and Islamabad, with Pakistan's Foreign Minister saying the criticism was unfair given Pakistan and the U.S. were fighting the same enemy, and sharing casualties.
And according to the Washington Post:
Mullen’s testimony to a Senate committee was widely interpreted as an accusation by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Pakistan’s military and espionage agencies sanction and direct bloody attacks against U.S. troops and targets in Afghanistan. Such interpretations prompted new levels of indignation among senior officials in both the United States and Pakistan.
ABC News, meantime, cites a Justice Department document filed earlier this week as saying that the CIA has 52 separate photos and videos of Osama bin Laden's body, the U.S. raid that killed him, and his burial at sea.
It quotes a top CIA official as saying that the government is justified in not releasing the images because their publication might inspire terror attacks on U.S. targets.