CIA Ran Phony Vaccination Scheme to Find bin Laden

Pakistani doctor busted for his role in plan
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2011 1:19 AM CDT
Updated Jul 12, 2011 6:27 AM CDT
Residents gather outside slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Cunning minds at the CIA devised a phony vaccination program in an effort to uncover Osama bin Laden's hiding place, a Guardian investigation has found. A regional health official was recruited to organize the vaccination drive in Abbottabad, beginning the program in a poorer part of town to make it appear more authentic. Agents aimed to get DNA from children in what turned out to be bin Laden's compound.

The doctor managed to gain entry to the bin Laden compound but wasn't able to obtain DNA samples, a US official tells the New York Times. After the raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader, the doctor was arrested for collaborating with the Americans. He remains in Pakistani custody, and American authorities are concerned about his safety, says a US official.

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