At the top of the list of suspects in the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is the al-Qaeda terrorist network and its legion of allies, including loosely affiliated groups that espouse similar views and, in some cases, share training facilities and other resources. But several officials said it is equally plausible that the assassination was carried out with the support - or at least the tacit approval - of Pakistani government employees. Retired Marine Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, former chief of Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East, said there is "no doubt in my mind" that the culprits are linked to al-Qaeda. Bruce Reidel, a former CIA official and onetime member of the National Security Council, said of al-Qaeda: "They had means, plenty of martyr wannabes. And they probably had inside information on her route and security."See also Al-Qaeda Seen as Top Suspect in Bhutto's Slaying:
Within Pakistan, Osama bin Laden's group has worked with more than a dozen radical fundamentalist Islamist organizations that have grown in power and mainstream popularity. Two of them, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, changed their names in recent years in order to avoid U.S. and Pakistani sanctions. All of them are Sunni Muslim-based and oppose Bhutto in part because she was female and from the Shiite sect.