BERLIN – Germany’s foreign intelligence agency helped the CIA to track Osama bin Laden in Pakistan where US Special Forces killed the al-Qaeda leader, according to a German news report.
The BND spy service provided clues that Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, with the knowledge of Pakistani security services.
The information came from a BND informant within the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and confirmed CIA suspicions, said the newspaper report which cited unnamed US intelligence sources.
The American source was quoted as saying the German tip-off was of “fundamental importance” in the hunt for the architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Pakistan has denied that it knew Bin Laden was living within its borders or that it had advance knowledge of the 2011 US Special Forces’ operation which killed him in a walled compound in Abbottabad.
News portal Spiegel Online pointed out that the newspaper report about the German spy agency’s apparent act of heroism was published right in the middle of the BND affair and asked if it was plausible or not.
The BND has been accused of helping the US National Security Agency (NSA) spy not just on extremists and criminals but also on political and business targets, including the French government, European Commission and Airbus Group.