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Grand Rapids Man Claims He Tipped The FBI Off To Osama Bin Laden’s Whereabouts

Salah Malkawi/Getty Images

A man from Grand Rapids is seeking some compensation while claiming that a tip that came from him aided in the US finding and killing Osama bin Laden. 

Sixty-three-year-old Tom Lee, a gem merchant in Grand Rapids says that he “accurately reported” to an FBI agent in 2003 that bin Laden was hiding out in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Now, he’s hired a high-power Chicago lawyer to help him claim the $25 million reward that was offered for assistance in bin Laden’s capture.

Lee claims that he learned of the complex’s location from a Pakistani intelligence agent who told him he had personally escorted bin Laden and his family from to the compound.

Lee claims that he relayed the information to a U.S. customs agent who had previously worked with him on investigations into corruption in the international gem trade. He and the customs agent then met with an FBI agent who wrote a report of the interview.

Bin Laden was killed in 2011 after his compound was raided by US special forces.

Later that year, US officials said that the $25 million offered by the U.S. State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program for the “capture or conviction” of bin Laden would not be paid because they found the compound by tracking a bin Laden courier via electronic intelligence.

Lee’s attorneys claim that the information he provided entitled him to the full reward.

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