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ISI defends Pakistan religious group

Pakistan’s military spy agency, Inter-Service Intelligence, said Wednesday that the country’s largest religious party wasn’t involved with al Qaida. Last week, an ISI video showed its agents arresting a senior al Qaida operative Khalid Shaikh Mohammed from the home of a Jamaat-e-Islami leader. Later, media reports said that three other suspects arrested earlier were also hiding with Jamaat supporters. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said last week that the arrests were “no coincidence” and urged the party to explain its position. But at a briefing for Pakistani editors on Wednesday, the ISI changed its stance, saying that it had no evidence to suggest that the Jamaat was involved with al Qaida. “Jamaat-e-Islami as a party has no connection whatsoever with international terrorist organizations including al Qaida,” a senior ISI official told the editors. “However, it is possible that some members of the Jamaat had links with some al Qaida activists,” he added. Full Story

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