WASHINGTON — Afghanistan’s former intelligence chief said yesterday that he knew Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan four years ago, but Pakistan’s leaders rejected his claims.
In an interview broadcast on CBS’s “60 Minutes,’’ Amrullah Saleh said Afghan intelligence thought bin Laden was in the Pakistani city of Mansehra — about 12 miles away from Abbottabad, where he was eventually found and killed by US Navy SEALs.
Saleh has become a prominent critic of the efforts by President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan to start peace talks with the Taliban. He says Pakistan should be recognized by the United States as “a hostile country.’’
“They take your money,’’ Saleh said in the interview. “They do not cooperate. They created the Taliban.’’
Pakistan’s military and intelligence services have been criticized by US politicians and the public for failing to detect bin Laden. President Obama has called on the Pakistani government to investigate whether any of its officials helped shelter him.
Obama’s decision to not inform Pakistan about the May 2 raid against bin Laden has strained US-Pakistani ties.