NEW YORK - A private security company with ties to the CIA was used by the New York Times to bribe Taliban guards as part of its seven month effort to gain the freedom of reporter David Rohde and two others taken hostage with him in Afghanistan, ABC News reported Tuesday. Citing 'people involved in the case, the television network said the bribes were reportedly paid in small amounts of only a few hundred dollars at a variety of locations where Rhode was held. It was not clear what role, if any, they may have played in Rhodes daring escape early Saturday, it said. The company, the Boston-based American International Security Corporation, AISC, also proposed a possible armed assault to free Rohde but called off those plans when Rohde was moved from Afghanistan into Pakistan where such an assault was deemed more difficult to pull off, ABC News said. Rohde and Afghan journalist Tahir Ludin escaped early Saturday morning from a Taliban compound in Miranshah, Pakistan, a City of 150,000 people considered a stronghold of the Taliban. In an account published in the NYT, Ludin said he and Rohde had lulled the guards to sleep by a long evening playing board games. Ludin said he and Rohde then used a length of rope he had hidden to climb down a 20 foot wall. The Times made no mention of any effort to compromise the guards. While some of the newspapers executives were aware of AISCs role, ABC News said it was unlikely Ludin and Rohde knew the full extent of what was being done on the outside to help them. Over the weekend, New York Times executive editor Bill Keller hinted at some behind-the scenes effort to set up the escape, saying he could not talk about 'the circumstances that were created at the end for Rohdes escape. As part of the effort for the Times, AISC used a controversial, former CIA official, Duane 'Dewey Claridge, to help plot the escape of Rohde, the network said. Claridge was indicted in 1991 for lying to Congress about his role in the Iran-Contra affair but pardoned by President George W. Bush before going to trial. Claridge declined to comment on the Rohde case or his connection to AISC, ABC News said. On its website, AISC has a network of sources and operatives in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the report said. It says it has many prominent govt and private business clients. AISC President, Michael Taylor, declined to comment on ABC News. In a statement attributed to Keller, the paper said it would not talk about strategy, tactics, deliberations, advice we got. Such stories, he said, 'only raise the level of danger for our reporters in the field, who already have enough risk to contend with. The Times began a long and tortured negotiations with Taliban leader Siraj Haqqani soon after Rohde was kidnapped in November, the report said. Haqqani referred to Rohde as his 'golden rooster and initially demanded a $25 million ransom and the release of 10 prisoners from Guantanamo, it said, adding, Haqqani dropped the demand for a prisoner release and, instead, focused on money. No ransom was paid, according to the New York Times, but the possibility that money would be paid set off a contentious debate inside the New York Times newsroom with some of Rohdes colleagues in New York and overseas arguing that any payment would set a dangerous precedent. Keller, and New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. over-ruled the objections and left the door open to a possible payment, according to the people involved. At the same time they also pursued several other diplomatic and back-channel tracks, including contacts with former Pakistani officials thought to have sway with the Taliban and Haqqani. The paper reportedly moved more than a million dollars in cash to the region and its negotiators reportedly thought they could get Haqqani to agree to a $2 million payment, it said. As the negotiations for Rohde continued, Haqqani and his Taliban group sought to gain attention to its prisoner by releasing three different videos showing Rohde in captivity. The US military was able to obtain one of the videos and reportedly showed it to Rohdes distressed wife, Kristin, who had married him only two months before he was kidnapped. The paper kept Rohdes plight secret throughout the seven-month ordeal and asked others news outlets, including ABC News, to do the same. Keller said experts and Rohdes family felt 'a storm of publicity would at best prolong Davids captivity by increasing his apparent value, and could well put him in imminent danger. Rohde, who is in Dubai resting and spending time with his family, has not publicly talked about his captivity or escape other than to confirm the account given by his fellow hostage Ludin.