Saturday, September 15, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

India provides inputs on Laden
Ravi Bhatia
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14
Indian intelligence agencies, particularly the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), are understood to have provided crucial inputs to the USA about terrorist outfits and Islamic militant groups active globally during the past couple of years, including the Al Quaida, the organisation floated by the Arab millionaire-turned terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

Highly placed sources said the inputs were provided as part of the friendly liaison which the intelligence and security agencies of the two countries have been maintaining in their effort to combat terrorism which culminated in the airplane bombings of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

The sources claimed that the Indian intelligence agencies had accumulated considerable data base about Islamic fundamental outfits, particularly those operating with the patronage of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan and Bin Laden.

The inputs, according to the sources, include cadre strength of each outfit, its leadership, main avenues of finance and the conduit for arms etc. The Indian intelligence agencies have been able to accumulate immense data on these organisations over the past decade in its fight against militancy and terrorism in the border state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The USA had sought the help of all friendly countries after the September 11 incidents. The focus of the USA queries is obviously Afghanistan and Bin Laden. The USA has very little first-hand information about the mountainous region as it had closed down its mission in Kabul in 1989.

It was precisely for this reason that the USA had sought the help of Pakistan and its ISI which is said to have very close links with the Taliban regime as well as the militant outfits being trained in the camps reportedly being run by Bin Laden.

The US authorities had reportedly approached Pakistan soon after Bin Laden moved to an undisclosed location a couple of months ago.


Conflicting reports on Masood’s death

Islamabad, September, 14
The legendary Afghan guerrilla leader, Ahmad Shah Masood, today died from wounds suffered in a suicide bomb attack last Sunday, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press said.

PARIS: However, France-based associates of the Afghan leader said they had been in touch with people at his side who denied the commander had died.

Patricia Lalonde of the Paris-based Collectif Liberte Afghanistan group said Dr Abdullah, a spokesman for Masood, told her he was still alive in a hospital in the Tajikistan Capital Dushanbe. Reuters

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