WASHINGTON - US officials have cast doubts about declassified US government cables obtained by an independent research group that alleged Pakistani involvement in the 2009 terror attack on CIA operatives at a base in Afghanistan.

"I don’t believe they are identified as State Department documents and actually, the originator has been redacted so you can’t tell. Certainly, at some point, some of them were sent to people at the State Department, but the question is where they actually came from," Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters while answering a series of questions on the leaked cables at the daily press briefing.

US media reports cited one US intelligence official who studied the newly released document described its contents on Thursday as an “unverified and uncorroborated report” — essentially raw intelligence of the kind that routinely lands on the desk of US analysts and diplomats in overseas posts. The redacted report says nothing about the source of the information, including whether the person was regarded as reliable or how the allegations were eventually assessed.

“The document clearly states that it contains unevaluated information,” said the official, who insisted on anonymity because much of the investigation into the bombing remains classified.

“The Haqqanis are brutal terrorists who continue to target innocent people, including Americans,” the official was quoted as saying by The Washington Post. “Nonetheless, the general consensus is that the 30 December attack was primarily an Al-Qaeda plot and did not involve the Haqqani network.”

The declassified document, which was heavily redacted, claimed that a Pakistani intelligence officer paid $200,000 to Haqqani group to facilitate a deadly suicide bomb attack on CIA operatives at a base in Afghanistan in 2009.

The document suggests that Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, and the Haqqani network were involved in facilitating the attack.

The Dec 30, 2009 attack on Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost in eastern Afghanistan, carried out by a Jordanian doctor who was working as a double agent for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, was one of the most devastating in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency, killing seven and wounding six. The document, dated February 2010, said an unidentified Pakistani ISI officer provided $200,000 to Haqqani and another man "to enable the attack on Chapman." An Afghan border commander in Khost was promised $100,000 of the money to facilitate the attack but died in the bombing, it said.

A spokesman for Pakistan's embassy in Washington did not have any immediate comment.

Because the document is heavily censored, it is not clear whether it represents an intelligence agency consensus or fragmentary reporting. One line, which has been crossed out, says: "This is an information report, not finally evaluated intelligence."

The document is almost entirely redacted - except for two passages discussing the ISI's alleged involvement in the attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman.

The National Security Archive, which works to challenge government secrecy, obtained the document under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Lauren Harper, who reported on the documents for the organization, said the initial FOIA request had gone to the US State Department. The State Department forwarded the request to the Defence Intelligence Agency, which released the redacted papers.


NNI adds: Pakistan on Friday rejected claims in the declassified documents of the US govt that the country’s intelligence agency may have provided the funding for a 2009 suicide attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan.

“Allegations in the media on Pakistan’s involvement with HQN are preposterous,” the Foreign Ministry said in Islamabad. “Infact, 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 Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The spokesman recalled that over the past years, Pakistan has through a series of military operations, severely damaged and weakened the TTP and other militant and terrorist organisations. “We wish to remind that Pakistan is among the biggest victims of terrorism, having lost tens of thousands of innocent lives, including over 5000 valiant personnel of law-enforcement agencies, and economic losses to the tune of a hundred billion dollars.”

The spokesman said that Pakistan is determined to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and has taken action against all terrorist elements, without discrimination.