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CIA Organized a Vaccination Drive to Collect DNA From bin Laden's Home

6:30 AM, Jul 12, 2011   |    comments
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- 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 terror 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 the Guardian newspaper.

A raid by U.S. special operations forces killed bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2.

But 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 the information to 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 to children.

The newspaper said a nurse working with the doctor was able to gain entry in the compound.

But, said the newspaper, it isn't known whether the CIA "managed to obtain any bin Laden DNA, although one source suggested the operation did not succeed."

Administration officials could not immediately be reached for comment early Tuesday morning.

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.

Some of the CIA sources in Pakistani custody were low-level and not considered crucial, a senior administration official told CNN.

Pakistan has protested unilateral action by the United States in the country. The United States did not tell Pakistan about the bin Laden until the raid was over.


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