Pakistani Doctor Who Helped CIA Find Osama bin Laden Jailed for 33 Years
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Dr. Shakil Afridi
Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who ran a fake hepatitis B vaccination program to help the CIA find Osama bin Laden, has been sentenced to 33 years in prison by a regional tribal court in Pakistan. Afridi was not allowed to attend the trial or to present his side of the case.
As part of the secret plan to track down and capture bin Laden, the U.S. wanted to obtain a DNA sample from one the al-Qaeda leader’s children. This could then be compared to the DNA of bin Laden’s sister, who died in Boston in 2010. Afridi agreed to set up a phony vaccination program in Abbottabad, the Pakistani town where bin Laden was hiding, and a local nurse, unaware of the plan, did gain access to bin Laden’s compound.
Following the Navy SEALs’ raid that resulted in bin Laden’s death, Pakistan’s intelligence service arrested Afridi. U.S. officials have appealed for his release on the grounds that he did not harm Pakistani national security.
Some health organizations have accused the Obama administration of jeopardizing international vaccination programs by compromising their trustworthiness.
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