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Terrorism

Former Bin Laden Bodyguard Freed by Pakistani Authorities, Source Says

One of Usama bin Laden's former bodyguards has been freed by Pakistani authorities, The (London) Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday, citing a senior security source.

Amin al Haq, who escaped from Afghanistan with the Al Qaeda leader in 2001 and went on to become a key financial aide, was detained in Lahore three years ago by Pakistan's intelligence agency.

However, the source in Peshawar told the Telegraph the 51-year-old had since been handed over to police and then released earlier this month.

"Amin al Haq had been arrested mistakenly, therefore, the police failed to prove any charge of his association with Usama bin Laden and the court set him free," he said.

His release is likely to raise more questions about Pakistan's commitment to the fight against terror, following close on the heels of accusatory comments from Admiral Mike Mullen, America's most senior military officer.

Mullen infuriated officials in Islamabad by saying that Pakistan's military intelligence service is collaborating with the Haqqani network, a militant group that the U.S. blames for attacks on Americans. Pakistan denies such a connection.

In light of the tenuous diplomatic situation, an analyst who has interviewed senior Al Qaeda figures said al Haq's release was puzzling.

"They could only have released him with the say-so of America or if maybe there really was no evidence or he was not that important," Rahimullah Yusufzai told the Telegraph.

Rob Crilly and Newscore contributed to this report.