In the aftermath of US journalist Seymour Hersh’s explosive revelations on 2011 US raid, reports in Pakistani media have made public the name of the intelligence officer who informed the CIA about the secret hideout of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
According to a report in the Pakistani news site, the News Intenational, journalist Aamir Mir has revealed that the Pakistani walk-in who sold the crucial Osama secret to the CIA for $25 millions was a retired ISI officer named Brigadier Usman Khalid.
The report adds that he also persuaded Dr Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani physician, to conduct a fake polio campaign in the Bilal Town area of Abbottabad to help the Central Intelligence Agency hunt down Osama.
The report also cites previous media reports in which ISI chief General Ziauddin Butt had claimed that “Osama’s stay at Abbottabad was arranged by Brigadier (R) Ijaz Shah on Musharraf’s orders”.
General Pervez Musharraf has denied that he had any knowledge about Osama staying in Abbottabad.
Mir’s report that has cited “well-informed intelligence circles in Rawalpindi” as its source gives further credence to Seymour Hersh’s account that claimed that the US did not act alone in conducting Osama raid and was assisted by Pakistani military and ISI who had kept Osama as a prisoner in Abbottabad since 2006 to gain “leverage against al Qaeda and the Taliban”.
In a story published in the London Review of Books, Pulitzer-prize winning US investigative journalist Hersh rejects the US claim that it got information on Osama by tracking his couriers.
Instead, Hersh’s account says, the CIA got to know about Osama’s hideout by a Pakistani walk-in, who ratted on his fellow ISI colleagues and bartered the crucial information for $25 mn and a US citizenship.