January 29, 2012
The United States has confirmed publicly for the first time that a Pakistani doctor long suspected of collecting vital evidence before the assassination of Osama bin Laden was indeed working for them.
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told 60 Minutes on CBS, in a profile to be broadcast today, that Shakil Afridi helped provide proof that the compound in Abbottabad to which they had tracked a Bin Laden courier, was indeed sheltering the al-Qa’ida leader. Armed with this information, President Barack Obama swiftly authorised last May’s assault by a US Navy Seals team. Bin Laden was killed, and a much-embarrassed Pakistan arrested Dr Afridi for acting for a foreign intelligence service. He has been in jail since, on suspicion of treason. Mr Panetta said he is “very concerned” for the doctor.
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