Pakistani officer rejects new US accusations of leaks


Pakistan’s security forces are not tipping off militants about upcoming United States raids, a senior military official told CNN Monday, angrily calling allegations in the New York Times inaccurate.
The official also rejected claims by American lawmakers that Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency the ISI has contacts with the Taliban and the Haqqani network, another militant group that sometimes works with the Taliban.
“It’s totally false,” said the official, calling it a “story that appears weekly in the media.” The official asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
He was reacting to a Times article saying that militants had evacuated a bomb-making factory after U.S. intelligence told Pakistani counterparts about it — the second time that had happened in a month.
It’s the latest spat between the two countries in a relationship that is increasingly tense but which both sides need.
The security forces issued a statement Friday denying that they were leaking intelligence to militants.
“This assertion is totally false and malicious and the facts on ground are contrary to it,” Inter-Services Public Relations said.
It said four compounds had been raided and people had been arrested. Two sites were found to be making bombs and were destroyed, while “information on others proved to be incorrect.”
The statement did not say how many people had been arrested.
Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta complained to top Pakistani brass earlier this month about raids that had failed because of apparent intelligence leaks, a U.S. official said.
The United States had shown the Pakistanis evidence of two bomb-making sites near the Afghan border, the official said, asking not to be named discussing intelligence and diplomatic issues.
The Americans believed the sites were being used to stage attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
When the Pakistanis raided the sites, both were empty.
“The targets appear to have been tipped off,” the U.S. official said.