Washington, Nov 20 (ANI): Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has helped Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar to flee from the border town of Quetta to the port city of Karachi, fearing that US drones might target him.
Recently, one-eyed leader of the Afghan Taliban found refuge from potential US attacks in Karachi with the ISI assistance, the Washington Times has claimed quoting US intelligence officials.
"Mullah Omar travelled to Karachi last month after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He inaugurated a new senior leadership council in Karachi, a city that so far has escaped US and Pakistani counter-terrorism campaigns," the officials said.
The News quoted the paper as saying that the ISI helped Mullah Omar move from Quetta, where they felt he was exposed to attacks by unmanned US drones.
"The development reinforces suspicions that the ISI, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s to expand Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, is working against US interests in Afghanistan as the Obama administration prepares to send more US troops to fight there," the paper said.
Bruce Riedel, a CIA veteran and analyst on al Qaeda and the Taliban, confirmed that Mullah Omar had been spotted in Karachi recently.
"Some sources claim the ISI decided to move him further from the battlefield to keep him safe. There are huge madrassas in Karachi where Mullah Omar could easily be kept," he said.
Riedel noted that there had been few suicide bombings in Karachi, which he attributed to the Taliban and al Qaeda not wanting to foul their own nest.
At the same time, the daily said so far there has been no indication that the top Al Qaeda leadership too had moved to Karachi.
Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri are still thought to be in the tribal region of Pakistan on Afghanistan's border, he said. (ANI)