ISI blew CIA official’s cover: NYT

Saturday, December 18, 2010

WASHINGTON - The Islamabad CIA station chief’s identity is suspected to have been deliberately blown by the ISI apparently in retaliation for naming of the Pakistan intelligence agency chief in a law suit in the US by families of 26/11 Mumbai attack victims, the New York Times said Saturday.

US officials said the CIA station chief had received a number of death threats since being publicly identified in a legal complaint sent to the Pakistani police this week by the family of victims of a drone attack.

The Times said American officials strongly suspect that operatives of Pakistan’s powerful spy service had a hand in revealing the CIA officer’s identity - possibly in retaliation for a civil lawsuit filed in Brooklyn last month implicating the ISI chief in the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008.

Ten terrorists from Pakistan sneaked into Mumbai and went on a killing spree over three days in November 2008, leaving 166 people dead.

The lawsuit brought by families of American victims of the Mumbai attacks, names ISI chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, as being complicit in the attacks.

The suit asserts that Pasha and other ISI officers were “purposefully engaged in the direct provision of material support or resources” to the planners of the Mumbai attacks.

The New York Times quoted a senior Pakistani official as saying that the government “believes that the suit in New York does not have a sound legal basis, and is based on conjecture”.

The legal complaint in Pakistan that identified the station chief was filed Monday over drone attacks, which killed at least four Pakistanis. The complaint sought police help in keeping the station chief in the country until a lawsuit could be filed.

The CIA official was hurriedly removed from the country after his name became public and he received multiple death threats.

The officer’s name was revealed last month in a news conference by Mirza Shahzad Akbar, the lawyer who filed the complaint this week.

Soon afterwards, the name began appearing on a number of Pakistani websites generally believed to have a close association with the ISI. One site mentioned the official and asked readers to track down pictures of him, the Times report said.

Filed under: Terrorism

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