Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pakistan doctor who sought bin Laden's DNA detained

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani security forces have detained a doctor who is suspected of helping the CIA try to collect DNA samples from people who lived in Osama bin Laden's compound before the terrorist leader's death.
A senior Pakistani security official confirmed the detention to CNN on Tuesday, but did not identify the doctor. The news was first reported by Britain's Guardian newspaper.

A May 2 raid by U.S. special operations forces killed the al Qaeda leader at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The Guardian said that in the course of gathering intelligence for the raid, the CIA recruited a Pakistani doctor to run a vaccination program in the area. The goal was to try to obtain DNA evidence from bin Laden family members, the newspaper said, citing unnamed Pakistani and U.S. officials.

Any DNA obtained from the people in the compound could then be compared with a sample from bin Laden's sister, who died in Boston in 2010, as evidence the family was in the compound, the newspaper said.

Neighborhood residents told CNN that two women who appeared to be nurses visited homes and offered free vaccinations.

Shazia Bibi, 27, said she was vaccinated for hepatitis B in April when two women came to her home near bin Laden's compound and identified themselves as health workers.

"Whoever gets this vaccination will never get hepatitis B," said one of the women.
Bibi said the health workers spoke in a local dialect and asked for detailed personal information and said a vaccination would not be possible without the information. She said the women were accompanied by a man who stood outside their house.
Bibi received one injection. The rest of her family was not at home at that point. She said the women left behind two vaccines but that her relatives refused them. The vaccines are still sitting in her refrigerator.

The Guardian said it isn't known whether the CIA "managed to obtain any bin Laden DNA, although one source suggested the operation did not succeed."
CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood declined comment.

After the raid, Pakistani officials took into custody several people who are suspected of helping the CIA. The doctor is one of them.
One rented a safe house to the CIA in Abbottabad, a Pakistani source familiar with the arrests said last month

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