has dismissed as “preposterous” US claims that its Inter–Services Intelligence (ISI) agency helped fund a deadly attack on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) outpost in Afghanistan in 2009.
Seven CIA officers were killed, and six other were injured in the bomb attack inside Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan’s Khost province on December 30, 2009.
According to a newly declassified US State Department cable, an unidentified ISI officer paid $200,000 to an extremist group, known as Haqqani network, to facilitate the operation, which was ranked as the most lethal attack against the US spy agency in more than 25 years.
“Allegations in the media on Pakistan’s involvement with HQN [Haqqani network] are preposterous,” a Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement said on Friday.
“In fact, we were shocked and deeply saddened when precious American lives were lost at the Chapman facility in 2009 in an unfortunate attack that was later claimed by TTP in a publicly available video, featuring the suicide bomber with the leader of the TTP,” the statement said, using an acronym for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, a terrorist group based in Pakistan.
“Pakistan is determined to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and has taken action against all terrorist elements, without discrimination,” the statement added.
The heavily redacted State Department cable was obtained by the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research institute at George Washington University.
The CIA refused to answer questions about the report’s veracity, or whether there is stronger intelligence that concretely holds the ISI responsible for funding the Chapman bombing.
Another State Department cable that was also released on Wednesday under a Freedom of Information Act request stated that the Haqqani network’s leaders were holding monthly meetings with the ISI in the capital city of Islamabad as of late December 2009.
The unconfirmed allegations against Pakistan come in a time when according to a recent assessment by Islamabad, most of the Haqqani terrorist network has been obliterated by the country’s armed forces.
Sartaj Aziz, an adviser on national security and foreign affairs for Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said in August of last year that most of the Haqqani network’s base had been destroyed by an army operation that began in the North Waziristan tribal district.
The Haqqani network has conducted many attacks against US targets, including the 2009 Camp Chapman bombing in eastern Afghanistan, which killed seven CIA agents.