Detained US official 'in telephone contact with Islamic terror group'
A US official, detained in Pakistan after shooting dead two men, had made contact with Taliban-linked extremists in the country's lawless, tribal region, according to details of phone records leaked by the police.The Telegraph UK.
Sources close to the investigation said Raymond Davis, 36, had made a series of telephone calls to South Waziristan, a tribal area along the border with Afghanistan synonymous with militant activity.
The mystery surrounding Davis has deepened since he was arrested in Lahore two weeks ago. He has told police officers he shot dead two men in self defence.
The US insists he is a diplomat based at the embassy in Islamabad and should be granted immunity.
However, security sources have leaked a series of details suggesting that he may have had a clandestine role.
"His phone records clearly show he was in contact with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, for what reason we can only speculate," said a police officer, referring to a terrorist group with close links to the Pakistani Taliban.
Hamid Gul, a former head of Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, said the phone calls suggested he was a secret agent.
"This is a classic intelligence technique – to get inside the head of the enemy," he said.
Davis, who is due to appear in court on Friday, is a former special forces soldier who left the US army in 2003 after 10 years of service, according to Pentagon records.
Mobile phone footage obtained by the Dunya TV channel shows him pleading for the return of his passport shortly after his arrest.
"I need to tell the embassy where I am at," he said, during a confused interrogation as police officers interrupt and laugh in the background.
He went on to tell them that he was working at the US consulate in Lahore "I just work as a consultant there, with the [Regional Affairs Office]," he said.
His arrest is deeply embarrassing to the governments of both Pakistan and the US, which has suspended some high-level talks in order to increase pressure on Islamabad.