Update: Pakistani journalist who wrote about Paki military's links to Al Qaeda is found slain

RIP Syed Saleem Shahza

He went missing Sunday....he was found tortured and dead in his car outside Islamabad.

LA Times

Shahzad, the Pakistan bureau chief for the Asia Times Online news website, had recently written a story that claimed Al Qaeda had infiltrated the ranks of the navy. The story, which appeared on the website after militants carried out a 17-hour siege on a naval base in Karachi on May 23, also asserted that the attack was meant as retaliation for the military's refusal to release a group of naval officials suspected of having militant links. Ten security personnel were killed in the siege.

The attack also proved deeply embarrassing for the military, which already had been facing strong criticism from within the country for allowing U.S. helicopters to slip into Pakistan undetected during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2.

In recent months, Shahzad, 40, had told colleagues that he had been warned by intelligence agents to stop writing about sensitive matters, and that he feared for his life. In October, Shahzad told Ali Dayan Hasan, South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, that he had been summoned to the headquarters of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, where he received what he saw as a veiled threat from a top official.

Shahzad forwarded to Hasan a set of notes from the meeting, adding that he was doing so "in case something happens to me or my family in future."

"After that, I spoke to him a few times," Hasan said Tuesday during a phone interview. "He told me he was under surveillance, that he would get calls, and that people would stop him and threaten him a couple of times. But as it is with people who live their lives with these kinds of threats, you factor it in. He factored it in and carried on with his business."

Hasan said he had "confirmation from credible sources that he probably was being held by the ISI."

A senior intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity vehemently denied any ISI involvement in Shahzad's disappearance and death. "We don't know anything about it," the official said, calling the allegations "rubbish."

This man moved between some dangerous camps.

Posted by: Newbie at 04:24 PM


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