Afghan officials used money delivered by the Central Intelligence Agency as part of a $5 million ransom paid to Al Qaeda in the spring of 2010, helping the terror group replenish its coffers after a campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan decimated its leadership, the New York Times reported Saturday. The Times had previously reported on a CIA program that delivered cash to the government of Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan. Some of the cash from that program was diverted into a secret fund, which was used to pay the ransom of Abdul Khaliq Farahi, who was then serving as Afghan consul general in Peshawar, Pakistan. Farahi was kidnapped by Afghan and Pakistani insurgents in September 2008, who later turned him over to al Qaeda, the Times reported. The Times learned about the source of the money from interviews with Afghan and U.S. officials, and letters between Osama bin Laden and another al Qaeda operative that had been introduced as evidence at the Brooklyn trial of Abid Naseer, who was recently convicted of conspiring to bomb a British shopping center.
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