London: A Taliban leader tipped-off the U.S. about where Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, a media report here said. The Mirror cited secret papers found at Osama’s high-walled compound in Pakistan’s Abbottabad city as suggesting that the Al Qaeda chief’s cover was blown by his trusted ally, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Baradar.
Washington, in return, offered to take back its troops from Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan after Osama was either killed or captured. Osama was gunned down May 2 by U.S. commandos. Till now, it was believed that Osama was traced after the U.S. intercepted a phone call made by his courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.
But new reports in Pakistan suggest it was Baradar who told the U.S. where he was hiding, website said. Baradar, an ally of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was arrested last year when he was on a visit to Karachi. He was questioned in prison before being released last October. “Baradar is in the frame as he has been in negotiations with the Afghan government and is closely linked to both Mullah Omar and bin Laden,” security expert Neil Doyle was quoted as saying.
“The U.S. has announced that it is scaling back its military operations in Pakistan following the killing of bin Laden. That will fuel speculation about whether this is the start of the pay-off for insurgents who are willing to cut a deal,” he added.
“Military officials in Pakistan have also said there was a rift between bin Laden and some of his allies.”-Online