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Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) is described as a terrorist organisation at the same level of threat as Al Qaeda, Taliban and Hamas, by the US, according to Guantánamo Bay files obtained by The Guardian.The article draws on the background of 700 Guantanamo prisoners and intelligence reports which accuse the ISI of supporting and protecting insurgents who have clashed with Afghanistan’s coalition forces, and assisting al-Qaeda. The Guardian reports:
One example is found among reasons given by Guantánamo officials for the continued detention of Harun Shirzad al-Afghani, a veteran militant who arrived there in June 2007. His file states he is believed to have attended a meeting in August 2006 at which Pakistani military and intelligence officials joined senior figures in the Taliban, al-Qaida, the Lashkar-e-Taiba group responsible for the 2008 attack in Mumbai and the Hezb-e-Islami group led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
The meeting was to discuss operations in Afghanistan against coalition forces, says the memo. It cites an unidentified letter in the possession of US intelligence services describing the meeting which, it says, ended with a decision by the various insurgent factions “to increase terrorist operations in the Kapisa, Kunar, Laghman and Nangarhar provinces [of Afghanistan], including suicide bombings, mines, and assassinations”.
The documents largely reference before the policy shift in 2007 when the Bush administration began to distance itself from former President Musharraf. The documents also reveal that ISI co-operation has led to high-profile arrests of current Guantánamo Bay detainees, including Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, who planned the 9/11 attacks.
Pakistani officials have consistently denied such links. Tensions between the US and Pakistan are set to increase on the revelation of these reports. There has been outrage against US drone attacks on the country and the recent shooting of two men by CIA operative Raymond Davis.