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Pakistani Official: Rogue or Retired Elements Aided Osama Bin Laden

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) -- In the strongest public statement yet from the Pakistani government following the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in which the al Qaeda leader was killed, a senior Pakistani official in the civilian government tells ABC News, "Elements of Pakistan intelligence - probably rogue or retired - were involved in aiding, abetting and sheltering the leader of al Qaeda."

This is based on the government's judgment that the number of years Bin Laden spent in Abbottabad - and it now appears in a village outside the city of Haripur - would have been impossible without help, possibly from someone in the middle tier of ISI -- Pakistan's intelligence agency -- who grew up fighting alongside the mujahidin against the Soviets, said the official.

According to the official, the military and ISI have been weeding some of them out but many remain.

There have long been sharp divisions between the civilian government and military in Pakistan, and those divisions are now playing out in public.

As for the United States, this official says U.S. officials are demanding the identities of particular ISI agents, in part, as proof the government is truly serious about confronting al Qaeda's supporters on the inside.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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