India Accuses Ex Pakistan Spy Chief Of Links to US Attacker: Report

Agence France-Presse
10 October 2001

Former Pakistani intelligence chief Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmad was sacked after arch rival India said it had provided evidence linking him to the US terror attacks, a report said Wednesday. The Times of India newspaper reported the general lost his job after India said he had ordered money to be wired to Mohammad Atta who hijacked one of the planes that crashed into the World Tade Center in New York on September 11. Earlier this week Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf announced Lieutenant General Ehsanul Haq was taking over as new head of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. "The US authorities sought General Mahmood Ahmad's removal after confirming the fact that 100,000 dollars were wired to hijacker Mohammad Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of the general," said the newspaper, which attributed the report to unnamed Indian government sources. "India contributed significantly to establishing the link between the money transfer and the role played by the dismissed Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief. "Indian inputs, including Sheikh's mobile phone number, helped US federal agents to trace and establish the necessary links." A highly-placed government source told AFP that the "damning link" between the general and the transfer of funds to Atta was part of evidence which India has officially sent to the US. "The evidence we have supplied to the US is of a much wider range and depth than just one piece of paper linking a rogue general to some misplaced act of terrorism," the source said. Pakistan has given it support for the US-led war on terrorism and offered Washington use of the country's airspace, as well as intelligence sharing and logistical help.