Panetta Cites Key Intelligence on bin Laden Raid

By: Robert Burns, Associated Press
By: Robert Burns, Associated Press

Washington, D.C. (AP) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is acknowledging publicly for the first time that a Pakistani doctor provided key information to the U.S. in advance of the successful Navy SEAL assault on Osama bin Laden's compound last May.

Panetta told CBS's "60 Minutes," in a profile to be broadcast on Sunday, that Shakil Afridi helped provide intelligence for the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Afridi ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify bin Laden's presence in the compound. He has since been charged by Pakistan with treason. Panetta said he is "very concerned" for the doctor.

Panetta also told "60 Minutes" that he remains convinced that someone in the Pakistani government "must have had some sense" that a person of interest was in the compound. He added that he has no proof that Pakistan knew it was bin Laden.

The Pakistani government had hoped to resolve the Afridi matter quietly, once media attention died down, perhaps releasing him to U.S. custody, according to two Pakistani officials. They requested anonymity because the investigation into charges the doctor behaved treasonously was ongoing.

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  • by Retired ARMY Location: Florida. on Jan 29, 2012 at 06:37 PM
    Panetta just signed his death warrant.
  • by Jim Location: Gadsden County on Jan 29, 2012 at 08:21 AM
    I don't understand this one at all. Comments like this from a former CIA director and now defense secretary? Was he trying to please the news media with a scoop? If this man is harmed from Panetta revelation some type action should be taken against the defense secretary......
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Jan 29, 2012 at 03:28 AM
    Way to go Panetta! Spill the beans on the poor guy that was key to finding that clown and whose life was already in jeopardy for doing it on our behalf. You've mad a question a fact and may have signed his death warrant. No wonder people in other countries hate Americans. Why on earth would you throw someone who provided so much help under the bus?
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