|Page 3 of 3 <|
U.S. officials: Raymond Davis, accused in Pakistan shootings, worked for CIA
Davis's affiliation with the CIA was "one of the major reasons" for the complications surrounding the case, a senior Pakistani official said. The broader impact, the official said, will be in "adding to the public anger and anguish, and hence more pressure on authorities in Islamabad not to succumb to the American pressure to hand over Davis."
State Department officials reiterated Monday that Davis was entitled to diplomatic immunity under the terms of the Vienna Convention, which has been ratified by Pakistan, the United States and most other countries. A senior official, asked whether diplomatic immunity applied to CIA employees posted abroad, said Davis's employer was not relevant.
"Under international law, there are very few areas where the law is so clear," the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in accordance with ground rules.
The CIA and the ISI have cooperated extensively on counterterrorism operations. Pakistan has secretly authorized CIA drone strikes in the country's tribal belt, where al-Qaeda and other militant groups are based. The CIA has mainly relied on the ISI to carry out arrests of senior al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives, including Abdul Ghani Baradar, in Karachi and other major cities.
But the murky mission of the team that included Davis suggests that the CIA has sought to expand its capabilities in Pakistan's urban areas, where high-ranking militants are thought to have taken refuge from the deadly toll of drone strikes.
One U.S. official said Davis and the others working out of a Lahore safe house "were hooked up with JSOC," the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command, which has taken on an increasingly important role in intelligence-gathering missions in Pakistan.
"There were five other contractors and a blue badger living in a safe house in Lahore," the official said, referring to the colored badges worn by CIA personnel.
The CIA has provided leads and intelligence to ISI units that have made high-profile arrests. But that partnership might be strained if Davis's team were focused on militant groups with close ties to the ISI, including Lashkar-i-Taiba, a potent organization with deep support in Pakistan that is accused in the deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai.
CIA Director Leon Panetta testified last week that the CIA-ISI relationship is one of the "most complicated" he had encountered in decades of service in Washington. Earlier this year, U.S. officials accused the ISI of intentionally exposing the identity of the agency's top spy in Pakistan, forcing the CIA to recall the officer back to Washington.
Correspondent Karin Brulliard in Islamabad and staff researcher Julie Tate and staff writer Mary Beth Sheridan in Washington contributed to this report.