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Elements in Pak Army and ISI helped Osama, says US lawmaker

world Updated: Jun 16, 2011 11:02 IST

Elements within the Pakistani military and ISI provided some level of assistance to al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who lived in a safe house in Abbottabad before being killed by the American forces, a top US lawmaker having access to classified intelligence matters has said.

"I believe that elements of both the military and the Intelligence Service who in some way, both prior, and maybe even current, provided some level of assistance to Osama bin Laden," Mike Rogers, Chairman, House Intelligence Committee, said in his remarks before Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank.

"Now, there is no evidence, and I want to make this very clear, today, as we sit here today, there is no evidence that the leadership of the Army, or the government, or the ISI knew that Osama bin Laden was there and that that was his compound," he said.

"I do believe, and I think that the recent news report on the compounds that were provided to them highlights that there is some level of sympathizers within the ISI, within the local police departments, within the way that they would handle that piece of information," Roger said.

"I think you can extrapolate that on a proactive side to the fact that bin Laden was in Abbottabad for nearly five years. So that is a serious issue... I think they understand the seriousness of that. We will just have to move forward based on what they may find, and what we may find," said Roger, who was in Pakistan last week to meet Army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and the ISI head Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

"Well we will have to deal with it on how we find the information, who it is, what we know, I mean, clearly we will work with the Pakistanis to the level that we can. And remember, we continue to try to find places we can cooperate with the Pakistanis. That to me is a very important part of this relationship. And so if they are willing to cooperate on those efforts then we will welcome that," he said in response to a question.