CAIRO, May 28 (UPI) -- A former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad claimed Osama bin Laden took his own life and wasn't killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in 2011, Gulf News reported.
"Bin Laden's burial at sea story was fishy. U.S. President Barack Obama lied when he claimed that bin Laden was buried at sea. Bin Laden's body parts were cut into multiple pieces, which is similar to suicide attacks following the bombing, so as not to leave any clue to the US forces to identify him," Abdul Fattah told Gulf News in an exclusive interview published Monday.
Fattah said he wasn't in Abbottabad, Pakistan, when bin Laden died but that he learned this version of events on May 2, 2011, from a relative of the al-Qaida founder.
Fattah, who said he was a personal guard for bin Laden, said bin Laden wore an explosive belt constantly during the last 10 years of his life and said he never would give up willingly to the United States.
"U.S. intelligence services had planned to nab him alive but they miscalculated," Fattah told Gulf News. "He blew himself up to avoid capture."
Fattah's recounting contradicts U.S. accounts of events about the death of the al-Qaida founder by U.S. forces during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad. His remains were buried at sea.
On the day of the raid, John Brennan, Obama's counter-terrorism chief, said the commandos wouldn't have killed bin Laden if they had been confident he wasn't wearing an "improvised explosive device on his body" or "some type of hidden weapon."
"If we had the opportunity to take him alive, we would have done that," Brennan said.
During the raid, bin Laden and four others -- bin Laden's courier, the courier's brother, bin Laden's son and one of bin Laden's wives -- were killed.
Fattah said bin Laden and his guards defended themselves against the SEALs.
"They fired shots at the helicopter that has carried the U.S. Special Forces unit," he told Gulf News. "As the SEALs killed two of his guards and shot him in his thigh, he triggered his explosive belt."
"One day bin Laden's wife will tell this story," he said.
Fattah led Egypt's al-Jihad organization, which was responsible for the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981, waged a terrorist war in the 1990s and helped found al-Qaida.
Fattah was released from prison in March 2011 soon after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, after 20 years in jail.
Gulf News reported he said he was once "the right arm" of Ayman Al Zawahiri, the former al-Jihad leader who now heads al-Qaida.