New details, including reports on Osama Bin Laden dating from 2006, have emerged from 90,000 US military files leaked to the Wikileaks website. Several files track Bin Laden, although the US has said it had received no reliable information on him “in years”. The details come as the Pentagon investigates who leaked the classified documents, in an act the White House says could harm national security.
In August 2006, a US intelligence report placed Bin Laden at a meeting in Quetta, over the border in Pakistan. It said he and others – including the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar – were organising suicide attacks in Afghanistan. The targets were unknown, the report said, but the bombers were carrying explosives from Pakistan. Nearly 200 files concern Task Force 373, a US special forces unit whose job was to kill or capture Taliban or al-Qaeda commanders.
The records log 144 incidents involving Afghan civilian casualties, including 195 fatalities, the UK’s Guardian newspaper reports.
The Wikileaks dossier includes an incident in June 2007 when the unit engaged in a firefight with what were believed to be insurgents. An airstrike was called in. Seven of those killed were Afghan police officers. A further four were injured. The incident was labelled a misunderstanding. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the leak did not divulge anything new about the nature of the war in Afghanistan but said the details revealed could be damaging. “[It] has a potential to be very harmful to those that are in our military, those that are co-operating with our military and those that are working to keep us safe,” he said.