A top Afghan drug lord jailed in the United States since 2008 has been a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) informant for years, The New York Times reports.
Juma Khan was paid large sums of money to provide information about the Taliban, Afghan government corruption and other drug traffickers, the report added.
In 2008, Khan, described as the most dangerous drug lord and the Taliban supporter, was arrested and transported to New York to face charges under a new American narco-terrorism law.
The newspaper quotes unnamed American officials as saying that he was also a longtime American informer, who provided information to CIA officers and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.
Khan has been a valued source of information for years, even as he was growing strength to be one of Afghanistan’s biggest drug traffickers after the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
Informed American officials say Khan had been paid large amounts of cash by the United States.
According to the report, he was even secretly transported to the United States in 2006 for a series of meetings with CIA and DEA officials.
Even then, Washington knew that he was becoming Afghanistan’s most important narcotics trafficker by taking over the drug operations of his rivals and paying off Taliban leaders and corrupt politicians in President Hamid Karzai’s government.
Videotapes from his meetings in Washington indicate that Khan offered tantalizing information to US officials in return for what he hoped would be protected status as an ‘American asset.’
He is now in the United States negotiating a plea bargain with American authorities, a deal that may keep secret many of the details about his relationship to the United States.
The CIA and DEA have refused to comment on Khan’s case.
Pundits say American intelligence has worked closely with figures other than Juma Khan who have drug trade ties, including Ahmed Hajji Bashir Noorzai, who was arrested in 2005.