Raymond Davis Had Taliban Links: Pak Media

By Press Trust of India

February 22, 2011 "NDTV" --
  -- -Islamabad: American official Raymond Davis, arrested for double murder, had "close links" with Taliban and was "instrumental" in recruiting youths for it, the Pakistani media claimed today, close on the heels of reports in the US that he was a CIA agent tracking movements of terror groups like the LeT.

The "close ties" of 37-year-old Davis, arrested in Lahore on January 27 for killing two men he claimed were trying to rob him, with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan came out during investigations, 'The Express Tribune' reported quoting an unnamed senior official of Punjab Police.

"Davis was instrumental in recruiting young people from Punjab for the Taliban to fuel the bloody insurgency (in Pakistan)," the official said.

The report came a day after The New York Times, citing US government officials, said that Davis "was part of a covert, CIA-led team of operatives conducting surveillance on militant groups deep inside the country."

Among the groups that Davis was keeping an eye on was the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the New York Times said.

The Express Tribune quoting unnamed sources said that call records retrieved from mobile phones found on Davis had allegedly established his links with 33 Pakistanis, including 27 militants from the banned Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

The report claimed Davis was "said to be working on a plan to give credence to the American notion that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are not safe."

"For this purpose, he was setting up a group of the Taliban which would do his bidding," it said.

Davis' job was to trace the links of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in different parts of Pakistan but instead investigators found that he had developed "close links" with the Taliban, the report said quoting a source.

Investigators had reportedly recovered 158 items from Davis, including a 9mm Glock pistol, 75 bullets, a GPS device, an infrared torch, a wireless set, two mobile phones, a digital camera, a survival kit, five ATM cards and Pakistani and US currency. The camera allegedly had photographs of Pakistani defence installations.

Intelligence officials claimed these items proved that Davis was involved in "activities detrimental to Pakistan's national interests."