US man seeks $25-mn reward for Osama tip
A Michigan-based gem merchant claims his tip-off led US authorities to the slain terror leader's hideout in Abbottabad
A US businessman says he told federal investigators the location of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan years before his killing and is seeking a $25 million (Rs 154 crore) reward. Tom Lee (63) is looking to receive the huge sum of money after he reportedly tipped-off the FBI prior to bin Laden’s death in 2011.
In a letter from Lee’s lawyers to FBI director James Comey in August, Lee is said to have shared the information with FBI agents in 2003 and is yet to receive a reward. “Lee precisely identified the whereabouts of the most notorious terrorist of our era. A man responsible for the World Trade Center attacks, the most devastating act of terror committed on American soil, and numerous other assaults on Americans,” said the letter. The gem dealer is claiming that a Pakistani intelligence agent told him that bin Laden was hiding in Peshawar in Pakistan in 2003.
US special forces moved in on this exact location in May 2011. Bin Laden was reportedly killed in the raid on his compound before his body was buried at sea 24 hours later. Lee wrote an e-mail to local press on Friday saying that he is shocked as to why the government waited eight years to make the move. It read: “It disturbs me, and it should disturb every American, that I told them exactly where bin Laden was in 2003, and they let him live another eight years.”
The FBI announced they would offer rewards to those that supplied information during their hunt for the al-Qaeda terrorist. But US officials told the press that Lee’s reward would not be paid because bin Laden’s location was discovered by internal intelligence and not an informant. They also claim the Abbottabad house where bin Laden was killed wasn’t built until 2005. The FBI are yet to comment on Lee’s case.
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