Pakistan has set free a top-level al Qaeda prisoner who spent years guarding and fighting alongside Osama bin Laden, according to two senior Pakistani police officials, who tell CBS News Amin al-Haq was not a “key player” in the terror group, and “had no information of great value”.
“Eventually there was nothing that could be used to keep holding him in custody,” said one of the officials, both of whom spoke to CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari on condition of anonymity.
British daily The Telegraph was first to report the release on Thursday. Their report also cites a senior Pakistani security official, who told the paper al-Haq was “arrested mistakenly, therefore, the police failed to prove any charge of his association with Osama bin Laden and the court set him free.”
Al-Haq’s release raises more questions about Pakistan’s commitment to tackle Islamic militant groups which operate within parts of the nation with near impunity.
Relations between Islamabad and Washington have gone from bad to worse to dismal in recent weeks, with American officials making a series of accusations that Pakistan’s security services are directly linked to terror groups – the most vitriolic being Adm. Mike Mullen’s assertion that the deadly Haqqani terror network is a “veritable arm” of the ISI spy agency.