Al-Qaeda Escort Arrested in Afghanistan
The Afghan government has announced the arrest of a Pakistani intelligence agent who also served as an al-Qaeda escort. Sayed Akbar allegedly worked for the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI), Pakistan’s equivalent to the CIA. However, it appears that he was also employed by al-Qaeda. The BBC reports:
[A]ccording to the Afghan authorities, Mr Akbar was in charge of relations between the ISI and al-Qaeda leaders… Officials say he has confessed to his "illegal activities" in Afghanistan. These are said to include escorting Osama Bin Laden last year from Nuristan to Chitral.
This arrest is a major step in halting al-Qaeda’s support network and will likely yield some answers as to the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. However, it also reveals a disturbing picture for the Pakistani leadership. Not only does the Taliban and al-Qaeda enjoy the security of its ‘emirate’ in Waziristan, it appears that they've also recruited some of Pakistan’s intelligence agents. This cannot bode well for President Musharraf, who has survived a number of assassination attempts; the most recent occuring this past October. If the ISI is in fact aiding al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the future looks quite bleak for Musharraf's government.