Man claims he told U.S. of bin Laden home in ’03

AP — A U.S. businessman says he told federal investigators the location of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan years before the al-Qaida leader’s assassination and is seeking a $25 million reward.

A letter obtained Friday by The Associated Press from a Chicago-based law firm representing Tom Lee says the 63-year-old gem merchant reported the location of bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in 2003.

The letter, sent by the Loevy & Loevy law firm to FBI Director James Comey in August, says a Pakistani intelligence agent told Lee that he had escorted bin Laden and his family from Peshawar to Abbottabad.

According to the letter, Lee shared the information with customs and FBI agents. Lee reported that the Pakistani agent “was a member of a family that Mr. Lee had done business with for decades,” the letter says, and the agent and his family opposed bin Laden.

Bin Laden was killed in May 2011 during a Navy SEAL raid. U.S. officials have said the Abbottabad house wasn’t built until 2005, and Pakistani officials have said they believe bin Laden moved there that summer.

The letter says Lee made “numerous attempts” to claim his reward but received no responses.

Lee told The Grand Rapids Press in an email Friday that he cannot understand why the government waited to act, writing, “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.”