The Times today gives a blow-by-blow account of how some international detective work led to it tracking down Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango in Boston.
The story has led to something of a row for Obama after it emerged that his relative was staying in the USA illegally and had defied a court order asking her to leave the country.
The Democrat campaign has implied that the story was a plant by the Republicans.
But Ben Macintyre and James Bone writing today say:
Whatever the Democrat campaign may imply, there is nothing suspicious about the story or its timing. The only mystery, perhaps, is how so many people read Mr Obama’s book in the US without wondering what might have happened to the mysterious relative, lost in America.
The Times got on the trail of Aunt Zeituni after picking up on a reference to Obama’s “lost” Uncle Omar, who moved to Boston, in his book Dreams From My Father.
Public record searches found traces of O.Onyango Obama in Boston – and it was in the course of this search that The Times tracked down Omar’s sister, Aunt Zeituni.
The Times tracked her down to a Boston housing estate to find she had apparently been sworn to secrecy. She said: “I can’t talk about Obama until after the election, I just pray for him.”