Doctor that Helped CIA Get bin Laden Faces Treason Charges

Fake Immunization Campaign Doesn't Sit Well in Pakistan

According to Pakistan’s official inquiry into the lead-up to the US assassination of Osama bin Laden, Dr. Shakeel Afridi, the man who set up the CIA’s fake immunization program, could face treason charges.

Afridi’s immunization program was aimed at collecting DNA of children around Abbottabad in the hope of finding Osama bin Laden’s family. It worked, but it also set back the cause of child immunization immeasurably.

Ever since Afridi’s role was uncovered, not only have locals nationwide treated foreign immunization programs as automatically suspect, but the nation’s security forces have been targeting many of them as suspected spies as well.

The US has repeatedly demanded Pakistan release Afridi, and officials are defending the campaign as appropriate. The Pakistani government isn’t likely to be nearly so “understanding,” particularly with the rising tensions with the US over the past several weeks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.