Osama was a US prisoner before being killed: Iran

Iran alleges that al Qaeda founder was a prisoner in US custody for "sometime" before he was killed by the US forces.

Last Updated: May 16, 2011, 09:34 AM IST

Tehran: Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden
was a prisoner in US custody for "sometime" before he was killed by the American military, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said.

"I have exact information that bin Laden was held by
the American military for sometime... until the day they
killed him he was a prisoner held by them," the hardline
president said in a live interview on Iranian state
television.

"Please pay attention. This is important. He was held
by them for sometime. They made him sick and while he was sick
they killed him," Ahmadinejad added.

He accused US President Barack Obama for announcing the Al-Qaeda leader`s death for "political gain."

"What the US president has done is for domestic
political gain. In other words, they killed him for Mr Obama`s
election and now they are seeking to replace him with someone
else," Ahmadinejad said without elaborating.

Bin Laden was shot dead on May 2 in a US commando raid
on a heavily fortified compound near Islamabad, Pakistan.
On May 4, Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi too
had cast doubt on bin Laden`s death, saying there were
"ambiguities" over the way he was killed.

The Americans "said they threw his body in the sea.
Why did they not allowed an independent expert to examine the
body to say if it was bin Laden or not?" Vahidi said.

Shiite Iran has always considered Al-Qaeda as a Sunni
ultra-radical and anti-Shiite threat to its security.

But the Islamic republic has regularly criticised the
presence of US-led Western forces in Afghanistan, saying it
prevented any negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict.

Tehran also regularly denounces the presence of US
forces in Arab states of the Gulf, calling it a source of
regional tension.

PTI