Report: Pakistani doctor in regular contact with spies
Dr. Shakil Afridi, attending a Malaria control campaign in Khyber tribal district on July 22, 2010.
July 31st, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Report: Pakistani doctor in regular contact with spies

By Larry Shaughnessy

Dr. Shakil Khan Afridi has been in jail since just a few weeks after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and a new report obtained by CNN sheds some light on just what he is alleged to have done.

Not long after his arrest, officials told CNN Afridi was charged with treason for helping the CIA locate bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad through a fake vaccination campaign.

Bin Laden was killed in the subsequent U.S. raid on the compound in May last year.

But a report recently filed with a Pakistani appeals court alleges that Afridi's contact with "American spies" began long before the vaccination event.

In 2008, Afridi met with the head of the Save the Children organization in Pakistan, the report says, and that man introduced the doctor to a woman named Kate.

She is described as tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed and in her mid-30s.

The report says Kate was Afridi's first "handler."

Between meeting with Kate and the time of his arrested, the report says, he had three other handlers: Toni, Sara and Sue. He met with them more than 20 times in a span of two years, it says.

They would pick him up at prearranged locations, make him lie down in the back seat of a car and cover him with a blanket, it says. The actual meetings took place in converted truck containers that had air conditioning, television and food.

At one point he was given some type of radio and a laptop to communicate with, the report says.

It says the effort against bin Laden began for Afridi in January 2011, when the handler named Sue asked him to start a campaign against hepatitis-B in different areas, including Abbottabad, where bin Laden lived before he was killed.

Sue told Afridi to go personally to Pathan Street, where bin Laden's compound was in Abbottabad, and to keep the radio on in that area, the report says. Afridi was instructed to bring kits and empty bottles back to Islamabad after every vaccination.

But even after encouragement from another health worker, no one at the bin Laden compound agreed to be vaccinated, so the CIA could not get DNA to compare to samples of bin Laden family DNA it already had.

"Despite insisting by the staff of the campaign, members of the house refused to get vaccination," the report says.

The doctor, according to the report, admitted receiving a total of $75,800 from handlers for the vaccination effort.

Just days after bin Laden was killed, Sue told Afridi to flee Pakistan and go to Afghanistan, where he could be protected, the report says. He elected not to leave Pakistan.

He was arrested, tried and convicted of treason. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison and fined $3,500.

He is not appealing his conviction.

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