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Posted at 1:01 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Report: Pakistani spy agency rushed Mullah Omar to hospital

By Jeff Stein

Mullah Omar, the elusive, one-eyed leader of the Afghan Taliban, had a heart attack Jan. 7 and was treated for several days in a Karachi hospital with the help of Pakistan's spy agency, according to a private intelligence network run by former CIA, State Department and military officers.

The intelligence network, operating under the auspices of a private company, “The Eclipse Group,” said its source was a physician in the Karachi hospital, which was not identified in the report, who said he saw Omar struggling to recover from an operation to put a stent in his heart.

“While I was not personally in the operating theater,” the physician reported, “my evaluation based on what I have heard and seeing the patient in the hospital is that Mullah Omar had a cardiac catheter complication resulting in either bleeding or a small cerebral vascular incident, or both.”

U.S. officials said they could not immediately verify the report.

"No one on this end has heard this," said a U.S. official from Kabul. "It doesn't mean it's not true -- we just have no information to confirm or dispute these facts."

A spokesman at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE:  On Tuesday afternoon Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said the report "had no basis whatsoever." 

“Sometimes intelligence tips received by professionals turn out to be wrong. The story about Mullah Omar falls under that category. You might recall a similar story from 2001 about Osama bin Laden receiving dialysis treatment that turned out to be incorrect, and the fabrication of those who wanted to give Pakistan a bad name."

Haqqani added,  "Pakistani intelligence, military and law enforcement personnel continue to hunt down wanted Al-Qaeda and Taliban figures and will apprehend anyone if and when we have hard intelligence, which is very different from speculation circulated by contractors.”

The report said Omar was “rushed” to the hospital on Jan. 7 by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

“The ISI rushed him to a hospital in Karachi, where he was given heparin [an anticoagulant] and operated on,” the Eclipse report said. “After 3-4 days of post-operative care in the hospital, he was released to the ISI and ordered to take absolute bed rest when at home for at least several days.”

The physician who was the source for the report said that, “After the operation, there seemed to be some brain damage with Mullah Omar having slurred speech.”

“His post hospital course is consistent with this type of outcome,” the physician added. “Three-four days in hospital is consistent with cardiac catheterization and or cardiac stent placement. Bed rest and aphasia [difficulty speaking] post-catheterization could be from a bleeding complication.”

Citing a separate source in the Quetta shura, the Taliban governing council on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, the Eclipse report said “Mullah Omar is continuing to improve and his speech is clearing.”

It also said the ISI was keeping the Quetta shura “informed” about Omar’s recovery at “an ISI ‘guest house’ in Karachi under ISI guard.”

The Eclipse Group is run by Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, a former head of the CIA's Latin American operations who was the first chief of the CIA's counterterrorism center; Kim Stevens, a retired U.S. diplomat who served in Bolivia and Italy; and Brad A. Patty, a civilian advisor to the U.S. Army's 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team in Iraq from 2007 to 2009.

The Eclipse Group’s reports are available “by invitation only” on its Web site, Stevens said.

By all appearances, the Eclipse network is the just the latest iteration of a shadowy, Pentagon-backed operation that began contracting with former CIA and military operatives to supply intelligence in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009. Amid adverse publicity last year, the Pentagon supposedly cut off its funding.

Stevens declined to discuss The Eclipse Group’s financing, except to say it has “no DoD clients …”

“Our customer list is proprietary information, but it is more than 20 and less than 50, including several European intelligence services,” he added.

Note: Based on information from The Eclipse Group, Brad A. Patty was incorrectly described at first as a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran. He says he has never served in the armed forces.

By Jeff Stein  | January 18, 2011; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy, Intelligence, Media, Military  | Tags:  Duane Clarridge; Kim Stevens;  
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Comments

This has to be BS. If the ISI had Mullah Omar under control, would this not be major news? Would they not have told us, or at least the CIA and the embassy? I thought he was hiding in a cave somewhere in Kandahar. If this is true, We could declare victory in Afghanistan (wasn't MO's capture one of our major war goals?) and withdraw our troops from Afghanistan. If you are right, hope you claim the $5 million DoJ reward for information leading to his capture by the US -- or do we just ask the Paks for extradition?

Posted by: DCNative41 | January 18, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

If this is true then the reports of ISI complicity and involvement with the Al-Qaeda and Taliban are completely true and Pakistan's denials they know nothing about the whereabouts of Bin Laden, Zawhairi and Mullah Omar are completely false.

Posted by: shobha1 | January 18, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse


A report from Pakistan, our ally. How much money are we sending them again?

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 18, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

This article comes on a time when I'm almost finished reading Bob Woodward's «Obama's Wars». On the other day, as I was reading about the schemes of the ISI and the almost absolute intelectual dephness of Pakistan's Prime Minister Zardari, I got myself feeling somewhat deeply irritated, without, however knowing why. I didn't realized at the time, that the cause for me to be so agitated had precisely something to do with what I was learning. It makes me almost mad to see how those guys are under the cover of diplomacy, abusing from the goodwill of a visionaire President like Mr. Obama. Pakistan safe havens for the al Qaeda must end, one way or another. It's just simply not fair that good men and women, like the ones who compose the ISAAF troops, are asked to waste their lives in Afghanistan, at the same time that we allow Pakistan be ruled by such a puppet of a powerfull secret agency. Best regards from Portugal

Posted by: ViriatoFCastro | January 18, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

has anyone figured out the paks are the largest supporters of obl scumlim? these loonies lost east pak when they confronted india and lost. murder,terror is the method used by these tribes in the name of their BS allah,which makes it ok

Posted by: pofinpa | January 18, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Move everyone out and let the Arabs/Muslims rip eachother to shreds.

Posted by: shewholives | January 18, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Taliban translates from Pashto to "Student" so their origins was the Wahhabi Madrasahs. Mohamed Omar was a member of a small Afghan Mujaheddin. He came to power because he teamed up with the Bin Laden the Money man and Ayman al-Zawahiri and the terrorists and radical Wahhabi preachers who ran the Madrasahs. Mohamed Omar became one of the teachers there which is where he gets the appellation Mullah.

There were many fingers in that pie.

The Key players at beginning were
1) President Carter who came up with the idea of using Afghanistan to do a Vietnam to the USSR.

2) President Reagan and then Vice President Bush who enacted the policy of Operation Cyclone.

3) The US took part in many forms look out for Charlie Wilson's War. An example is a certain CIA and former US Special Forces soldier and double agent who trained Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and most of the senior people in what would become Al Qaeda in covert warfare, kidnapping and assassination. In all honesty he was one of many agents and not just US special forces were there.

He goes by the names Ali Abdul Saoud Mohamed, Ali Abdelsoud Mohammed and Ali Mohammed AKA "al-Amriki" among others. Some sources say he was born in Egypt and served as an Egyptian army military intelligence officer and is supposed to have served in the same unit as assassinated Egyptian President Sadat.

4) Saudi Wahhabi factions. These are the people that really controlled what was and is going on.

5) The Pakistan ISI

And various other bit part players.

The ISI's role in the mujaheddin was wide and varied. But they never had a controlling position in MAK or the Wahhabi Madrasahs. MAK were financially controlled by the Saudis and their placemen Bin Laden and the Palestinian Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam and Ayman al-Zawahiri. The ISI's role there was training and facilities provision and to act as an intermediary along with the Pakistan Army for US weapons bought by Saudi and other Muslim organisations and charities under the guise of helping refugees. MAK was a small organisation in the whole mujaheddin, numbering only some 2000 mostly foreign fighters. The total foreign fighters was around 35,000 but this was dwarfed by the Quater of a Million Afghan Mujaheddin.

To the ISI MAK was a small cog in the wheel. What MAK did have was lots of money and facilities to recruit radicalised brainwashed students, the Taliban. Pakistan ignored this thinking it would disappear once the war was over.

And when the Afghan War was over Pakistan found it had a cuckoo in the nest.

MAK started to fracture and its leader Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam was assassinated in 1989 during a fratricidal putsch that left Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri in charge. This was when Al Qaeda was formed

More Follows...

Posted by: walker1 | January 18, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

This sounds like total BS. A private for profit intelligence agency leaking a report to WaPo to get it free publicity. There is a reason that the DoD and the IC dropped the Eclipse Group from their roster. They sensationalize to keep contract dollars flowing.

Posted by: Skippy21 | January 18, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

It's quite obvious that most of the commenters on this site know nothing about the operations of the ISI.

Posted by: georges2 | January 18, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

We give Pakistan millions of dollars and they voted against the U.S. at the UN General Assembly 95%. unlike Israel...
and georges2, do you know anything? Have you been to Pakistannnnnnn? speak up.

Posted by: Rockvillers | January 18, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse


... and this bad guy's walking. So much for:

Special Operations

Unconventional Warfare

Clandestine Operations

Low Intensity Conflict


Posted by: whocares666 | January 18, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow if the ISI is involved in this I say screw Pakistan's sovereignty, bomb the Taliban into a parking lot.

Posted by: Nymous | January 18, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

There's one comment on this article which gives me my WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT moment, like Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, NSC. What is there really to know about ISI ops? I mean... honestly, tell me!!! I'm just a portuguese ordinary citizen, who has a brother - paratrooper captain - that has been on ISAAF, posted in Camp Warehouse, Afg. I simply deplore the idea that he risked his life there - and made come back sound and safe, thank god - just to know that there is a puppet like Zardari and a secret agency that treats one of the most ignorant, though terrifying, people on the earth - Mullah Omar - as someone worthy of somekind of impunity. I mean, this must stop for once!
Mr. Obama, you have just two choices:
1.
Make a strong demand for a serious government in PakAf;
And, to quote your own former White House Chief of Staff, with your own Regional Governors if needed; or
2.
Get the hell out of there; all the ISAAF forces;
With the certainty, though, that any attack to the civilized, or, better said, more reasonable world, will be punished with the most powerful revenge coming from the skies.

Posted by: ViriatoFCastro | January 19, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

It doesnt matter how absurd a report is, if it is anti pakistan lets run with it!! Pakistan army runs the largest network of its hospitals and in most cases these are consiudered to be most advanced in country. their institute of cardiology in islamabad is considered to be the most advanced. WHY WOULD THEY NOT TREAT HIM IN THEIR OWN HOSPITAL THEN? in confidentiality??

This unknown group of people running a website throw out a usual piece of antipakistan junk and newspapers like washington post has to republish it.

US media has gone bonkers...

Posted by: reasonhasvoice | January 19, 2011 1:38 AM | Report abuse

ISI (= Pakistan's military) meet predator. Hello peace in south Asia. Welcome home soldiers.

Posted by: diogenes07 | January 19, 2011 2:54 AM | Report abuse

That's what you get for doling out $15 billion (and counting) to a rogue nation that is hand-in-glove with the Islamic terrorists. The Pakistani spy agency is responsible for most of the NATO and US Army deaths in Afghanistan. Effectively the US forces are fighting the Pakistani Army with one arm tied behind their backs. Bomb the hell out of Pakistan and be done with it.

Posted by: JayMan1 | January 19, 2011 4:35 AM | Report abuse

So what’s new in ISI taking care of Mullah , every mother takes care of her children.

Posted by: NewDelhi_India | January 19, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Most folks here do not understand the devious and double dealing character of Pakistan state (i.e., Military-Industrial complex) And our tax dollars are supporting these dangerous people. While a healthy scepticism is always warranted, the unhealthy state of affairs in Pakistan lend deep credence to the story. Most people understand, correctly, that ISI is even more dangerous than some of the non-state terrorist outfits like Al-Quida.

Posted by: danvilleniner | January 19, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Guys US need more time to understand Paikstan and ISI. best of luck for future in Afpak

Posted by: farazay82 | January 20, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Hay Guys US need more Time to understand the Pakistan, pakistanies and the ISI. Whatever you Comment is far from facts. Best of luck for future in Afpak.

Posted by: farazay82 | January 20, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

read this article in several international newspaper. as an analyst a did a research and fount that the article is absurd and baseless because the isi constitutes of military men and the pakistani army have one of the best medical facilities in the country in my opinion it would be easier for them to assist a terrorist inside their own bases under the wraps !!i understand that we, the american people want the world to be a better place for our future generations but we can't do this by spreading hatred for and among people of other nations who are very much suffering but are willing to help us. instead of spreading such baseless rumors we should applaud such countries for their little effort to encourage them. also by analyzing the psyche of the native people it is clear that such news would cause loss in support from the people who are actually willing to help us.at the end i would like to express my disappointment after reading such articles in american newspapers and magazines

Posted by: samsaber | January 20, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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