NEW YORK - An Afghan drug lord, who was arrested and brought to New York to face charges under a new American narco-terrorism law, was also a longtime informer for the Central Intelligence Agency and other American agencies, The New York Times reported Saturday on its website. US prosecutors described Hajji Juma Khan as perhaps the biggest and most dangerous drug lord in Afghanistan, a shadowy figure who had helped keep the Taliban in business with a steady stream of money and weapons, the newspaper said in a dispatch. CIA officers and Drug Enforcement Administration agents relied on him as a valued source for years, even as he was building one of Afghanistans biggest drug operations after the United States-led invasion of the country, the newspaper said, citing current and former American officials. Along the way, he was also paid a large amount of cash by the United States, the paper said. At the height of his power, Juma Khan was secretly flown to Washington for a series of clandestine meetings with CIA and DEA officials in 2006, it said. Even then, the United States was receiving reports that he was on his way to becoming Afghanistans most important narcotics trafficker by taking over the drug operations of his rivals and paying off Taliban leaders and corrupt politicians in President Hamid Karzais government. In a series of videotaped meetings in Washington hotels, Juma Khan offered tantalising leads to the CIA and DEA, in return for what he hoped would be protected status as an American asset, according to American officials. And then, before he left the United States, he took a side trip to New York to see the sights and do some shopping, according to two people briefed on the case. The relationship between the United States government and Juma Khan is another illustration of how the war on drugs and the war on terrorism have sometimes collided, particularly in Afghanistan, where drug dealing, the insurgency and the government often overlap, the Times said. To be sure, American intelligence has worked closely with figures other than Juma Khan suspected of drug trade ties, including Ahmed Wali Karzai, the presidents half brother, and Hajji Bashir Noorzai, who was arrested in 2005, according to the dispatch. Karzai has denied being involved in the drug trade. When asked by the Times about Juma Khans relationship with the CIA, a spokesman for the spy agency said that the CIA does not, as a rule, comment on matters pending before US courts. A DEA spokesman also declined to comment on his agencys relationship with Juma Khan, it said. His New York lawyer, Steven Zissou, denied that Juma Khan had ever supported the Taliban or worked for the CIA. There have been many things said about Hajji Juma Khan, Zissou was quote as saying, and most of what has been said, including that he worked for the CIA, is false. What is true is that HJK has never been an enemy of the United States and has never supported the Taliban or any other group that threatens Americans. A spokeswoman for the United States Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York, which is handling Juma Khans prosecution, declined to comment. However, defending the relationship, one American official said, Youre not going to get intelligence in a war zone from Ward Cleaver or Florence Nightingale.