A London-based defector from the Pakistani Army has been named as the informer who led the United States to Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
Brigadier Usman Khalid died last year aged 79 He is now the focus of global media attention after Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh claimed a Pakistani officer, later revealed as Khalid, had been the go-between, offering the United States Bin Laden’s location in return for cash. His family reject the claim, saying Khalid’s strong views on Pakistani politics had made him a target for character assassination.
Hersh claims differ strikingly from the official American story that Bin Laden was holed up in a compound in a lawless area of Pakistan. Rather, he writes that Bin Laden was actually a prisoner of the Pakistani security services, whose leaked information allowed United States special forces to go in and execute the kill. Although Hersh didn’t’ name Khalid himself, the former officer, who quit the army and fled Pakistan in 1979 over the execution of a former prime minister, his name was ‘leaked’ in Pakistan by ‘military sources’, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The paper reports the comments of the Brigadier’s son, who denied the accusation: “It simply doesn’t make sense. At the time that this was supposed to have happened, he was suffering from cancer and in and out of hospital.
“My father hadn’t visited the USA since 1976 and had lived in the UK since 1979 so there was no question of him of his family getting American citizenship. He had no contact with the CIA and knew nothing about Osama Bin Laden, other than what he read in the newspapers, just like everyone else.
“He was politically very vocal, so he was an easy target”.
The White House has called the suggestion that the USA cooperated with Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden “inaccurate and baseless”.