Pakistan Arrests Doctor For Running CIA Vaccination Drive To Get Bin Laden’s DNA

Bin Laden

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Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency has arrested a senior Pakistani doctor accused of abetting a CIA scheme to find DNA evidence that Osama bin Laden was living in Pakistan, the Guardian reports.The British newspaper reports that CIA agents recruited the doctor, Shakil Afridi, to organise a fake vaccine drive in Abbottabad, Pakistan to try and obtain DNA from a member of the bin Laden family.

The vaccination plot, thought to be unsuccessful, was part of the CIA’s extensive effort to confirm that the Al Qaeda leader was living in the military enclave before the May 1 raid on the bin Laden compound there.

Afridi’s arrest has reportedly exacerbated tensions between U.S. and Pakistan. The Guardian reports that the U.S. is thought to have intervened on the doctor’s behalf.

U.S.-Pakistani relations spiraled further this weekend when the Obama administration announced that it will suspend $800 million — or one-third — of its military to aid to Pakistan.

Defending the decision, White House Chief of Staff William Daley said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week” that the Pakistani government has “taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid which we were giving to their military.”

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