Washington, Feb 10: Five years after Osama bin Laden's reported death, it has been claimed that he is still alive. The shocking statement came from Edward Snowden, a fugitive of the law from the United States.
During an interview with Moscow Tribune, Snowden recently asserted that he has proof which can prove that Osama is alive and he along with his five wives and many children have been living together on the payroll of the CIA.
While reasoning his claim, Snowden said, "Osama bin Laden was one of the CIA's most efficient operatives for a long time. What kind of message would it send to their other operatives if they were to let the SEALs kill him?"
"They (CIA) organized his fake death with the collaboration of the Pakistani Secret Services, and he simply abandoned his cover. Since everyone believes he is dead, nobody's looking for him, so it was pretty easy to disappear. Without the beard and the military jacket, nobody recognizes him," Snowden added.
During the interview, Snowden was also quoted as saying, "I have documents showing that Bin Laden is still on the CIA's payroll. He is still receiving more than $100,000 a month, which is being transferred through some front businesses and organizations, directly to his Nassau bank account. I am not certain where he is now, but in 2013, he was living quietly in his villa with five of his wives and many children."
Snowden also claimed that he will show all documents in his upcoming book which will be released soon. The documents reportedly will prove his statement regarding Osama.
Neither US officials nor Pakistani officials made any comments on Snowden's latest statement on Osama. However, many believe that it could be a plan of Russian agency to mar US's image as Snowden lives as a fugitive in Russia.
Snowden, a former CIA agent, fled the US after leaking documents about the NSA's mass surveillance programmes to the media in 2013. US had filed espionage charges against Snowden for revealing classified NSA documents.
US government in 2011 had claimed that Osama was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2. It was an operation carried out by a United States special forces military unit.
The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was ordered by Barack Obama and carried out in a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation by a team of United States Navy SEALs from the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or informally by its former name, SEAL Team Six) of the Joint Special Operations Command, with support from CIA operatives on the ground.