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Private U.S. Spies Aid FBI in Afghan Probe

By Mark Mazzetti
New York Times

WASHINGTON — Not long after the Pentagon severed its relationship with a private spy network operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the F.B.I. quietly began tapping the same group to help investigate the killing of 10 medical aid workers in northern Afghanistan, according to American officials and private contractors.

The spy network, managed by Duane R. Clarridge, 78, a former top official at the Central Intelligence Agency, has provided agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Kabul with intelligence reports about militants who may have been involved in the attack, which killed six Americans last August.

How the F.B.I uses the information, and whether it has been valuable, is unclear. But that the F.B.I would use Mr. Clarridge’s group — at the same time the Pentagon is investigating whether it and other private spies were hired in Afghanistan and Pakistan in violation of Defense Department policy — shows the limits of the American government’s own information sources in the chaos of a war zone.

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