The family a British citizen who has been named by Pakistani media as the man who sold the secret location of Osama Bin Laden to the CIA have denied that he was responsible for outing the terror leader.
Amir Mir, a prominent Pakistani journalist and investigations editor for The News International named the spy as retired Brigadier Usman Khlalid, quoting “well informed intelligence circles.”
Khalid claimed asylum in London 35 years ago and became a British citizen, after resigning from a 25-year career in the army in protest at the execution in 1979 of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the former prime minister and father of Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007, according to The Daily Telegraph.
He died last year of cancer at the age of 79, but his family told the paper that he was “an easy target” and had been implicated because of his outspoken views on Pakistani politics.
“It simply doesn’t make sense,” said his son his son, Abid Khalid. “At the time that this was supposed to have happened, he was suffering from cancer and in and out of hospital.”
The White House has consistently maintained that it found the al-Qaeda leader and carried out a secret mission to kill him in 2011 without the knowledge or assistance of the government of Pakistan.
But an article by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh alleged this week that that was part of an elaborate lie fed to the public by President Barack Obama in order to score political points.
He claimed in the article that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was in fact keeping Bin Laden a prisoner as “leverage against al-Qaeda and the Taliban”, and was persuaded to assist in the American operation as long as he was killed and their participation kept a secret.
Critics have accused the investigative journalist who uncovered the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prison scandal of relying too much on one US intelligence source for the story.
The White House also described his claims that Pakistan co-operated with the US to kill the former al-Qaeda leader as “inaccurate and baseless”