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Usman Manzoor
Thursday, May 05, 2011
From Print Edition
 
 

 

Islamabad

 

Abbottabad, one of the beautiful hill stations of Pakistan, has remained under strict check of the security agencies during the last few years as not only Osama bin Laden but a few other high profile al-Qaeda suspects have also resided or visited the area deeming it to be a safe haven.

 

A Guantanamo Bay file recently released by WikiLeaks and stories published in The News also endorse that terrorists have been residing and visiting Abbottabad.

 

A press release issued by Foreign Office on Tuesday says: “Abbottabad and the surrounding areas have been under sharp focus of intelligence agencies since 2003 resulting in highly technical operation by ISI which led to the arrest of high value al-Qaeda target in 2004. As far as the target compound is concerned, ISI had been sharing information with CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009. The intelligence flow indicating some foreigners in the surroundings of Abbottabad, continued till mid April 2011.”

 

WikiLeaks released documents of Guantanamo Bay a few days ago in which one of the high profile leader of al-Qaeda, Abu al-Libi who was a messenger of Osama bin Laden during investigation revealed that his job was to provide safe havens to al-Qaeda and in 2003 he shifted to Abbottabad with family.

 

“In October 2002, Nashwan Abd al-Razzaq Abd al-Baqi, aka (Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi), contacted and asked detainee (Libi) to work with him in Peshawar. Detainee accepted the offer and spent the next five to six months working under Al-Baqi organizing the purchase of supplies for fighters including medicine, lights, batteries, food, and clothing. In July 2003, detainee received a letter from Osama bin Laden’s designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee to take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organizing travel, and distributing funds to families in Pakistan. Bin Laden stated detainee would be the official messenger between him and others in Pakistan.”

 

“In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.” “Between August 2003 and February 2004, detainee travelled to Shkai, Pakistan on three occasions. While at Shkai, detainee met with al-Qaeda’s Sharia Council, delivered funds to fighters and met with Hamza Rabia.

 

In mid 2004, detainee moved his family from Abbottabad to Bajaur. During October 2004, detainee received a letter from Bin Laden asking about the financial situations in Pakistan and Waziristan. In addition to the letter, there was a video tape of Bin Laden speeches.”

 

Moreover Libi was not the only person who visited Abbottabad, according to Senior Crime Reporter Shakeel Anjum’s story published in The News in October 2010, intelligence agencies captured a top leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), N.A.Z (identity hiding due to security reasons), landed in Islamabad to amplify the wave of terrorism in Punjab and federal capital territory. N.A.Z is said to be a foreigner and has assigned as chief planner of terrorist activities in Punjab and federal capital territory.

 

The one of three top kingpins of TTP arrived, through Abbottabad, at a hamlet around Manaal bafflingly during the last week of October but the intelligence agencies located his position in Talhaarh, a hamlet located at north hills of the federal capital. He left Talhaar and his position was, later, found in Chak Gah, a small village located in declivity of Manaal.

 

The suspect adopted the route to enter federal capital territory very tricky and hard. He reached Mardan to leave for Mansehra on vehicle and arrived at Khanpur via Haripur and then Talhaar via Lora (Abbottabad), located in the mountain of Margalla but falling in the jurisdiction of KP. The Margalla Hills were put under strict surveillance after this incident.