Linchpin in hunt for bin Laden back with al-Qaida - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Linchpin in hunt for bin Laden back with al-Qaida

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former and current U.S. intelligence officials say the terrorist described as the linchpin in the hunt for Osama bin Laden has rejoined al-Qaida.

The Bush administration had released him from a secret CIA secret prison under pressure from Pakistan. The CIA returned al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul to his native Pakistan where he was held for at least a year before he eventually was released, making his way back to al-Qaida.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because details about Ghul's case remain classified.

Pakistan's decision to free Ghul is yet another troubling revelation in a time when the U.S. is rethinking its relationship with the government in Islamabad.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. official says Pakistan's intelligence service has arrested Pakistani informants who worked with the CIA before the U.S. raid that took out Osama bin Laden.

One person said to have been arrested is the owner of a safe house rented to the CIA to observe bin Laden's compound.

The New York Times is reporting that five informants have been arrested.

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