CIA Vaccine Ruse and Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

It has been reported that in order to locate Osama bin Laden, public health officials started a Hepatitis B vaccine program, extracting DNA from children. The CIA has been accused of using this vaccine program to find bin Laden’s children and in turn, find him. The danger of a program like this is that the public would become suspicious of immunization programs in the future.

Links and Resources

  • Breaching Medical Ethics to Catch bin Laden? (MedPage Today) July 2011.
    Since The Guardian first reported that the U.S. engineered a fake hepatitis B vaccination campaign in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in order to collect DNA samples from Osama bin Laden's relatives, a tide of criticism from public health organizations has swept in. 

  • CIA organised fake vaccination drive to get Osama bin Laden's family DNA (The Guardian) July 2011.
    The CIA organised a fake vaccination programme in the town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an elaborate attempt to obtain DNA from the fugitive al-Qaida leader's family, a Guardian investigation has found.

  • Did the CIA Fake a Vaccination Campaign? (Wired) July 2011.
    A number of years ago, I was in New Delhi, at the end of an exhausting 18 hours in which I had torn around the city to watch a National Immunization Day. On those days — like a national holiday, with flags and banners and kids let out from school — tens of millions of children line up to stick out their tongues and receive the sugary drops that contain the vaccine that should protect them against polio.

  • Opinion: Why the CIA's Vaccine Ruse Is a Setback for Global Health (Time) July 2011.
    Last week, the Guardian broke the news that in the run-up to the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, the CIA used a vaccination campaign as a ruse to get DNA evidence from the al-Qaeda leader's kids.