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Militant group did not help Osama bin Laden, source says

By the CNN Wire Staff
People gather outside the compound of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 3, 2011.
People gather outside the compound of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 3, 2011.
  • Diplomats have been meeting in hopes of repairing the U.S.-Pakistan ties
  • The source is a member of Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, a Pakistani-based militant group
  • A New York Times report connects a cellphone of bin Laden's courier to the group

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A member of a Pakistani-based militant group is denying a New York Times report that a cellphone found during the raid of Osama bin Laden's compound contains information that links his group to bin Laden.

The member of Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen said he was not aware of support his group gave bin Laden during the years the al Qaeda boss hid at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The statement by the man, who did not want his name used because no one in his group is authorized to speak to the media, differs from a recent New York Times report.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that a cellphone belonging to a bin Laden courier contained contact information for members of Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen. (What is Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen?)

The Times report says that Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen also has ties to Pakistani intelligence services.

What's on bin Laden courier's phone?

That information on the cellphone could raise questions about who supported bin Laden when he was in Pakistan, the report said.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Islamabad declined comment on the situation Friday, saying, "We don't discuss intelligence issues."

In recent weeks diplomats from the United States and Pakistan have been meeting to help repair the relationship between the two countries, which has been strained since the May 2 raid on the compound that left of bin Laden dead.

The relationship between the two countries has been in a downward spiral over disputes about how to pursue counterterrorism efforts.

The United States believes Pakistan is not doing enough to go after al Qaeda and other extremists, while the Pakistanis are upset with what they consider to be unilateral steps taken by the United States within their borders.

Journalist Nasir Dawar contributed to this report