Saturday, September 23, 2006

Analysis: Is bin Laden truly dead?

Osama bin Laden is dead. At least according to Saudi intelligence sources cited by a French newspaper, which in turn claims to have obtained a document leaked to them by French counter-intelligence services.

The news of the death of al-Qaida's chief was reported in the Saturday edition of l'Est Republicain, a respected regional daily. The French paper cites a memo they claim was obtained from the French counter-espionage agency, the Direction Générale des Services Extérieurs, or the DGSE.

Bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist is believed to have died last August as a result of typhoid fever while he was in a remote part of Pakistan, according to the French newspaper.

The report of bin Laden's death was however not confirmed by official sources in either Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

But a Saudi intelligence source told United Press International: "We are not saying he is dead, but there is a lot of truth in the report." The Saudi source, who spoke on condition that his name not be revealed, confirmed the existence of a Saudi intelligence report relating to the health of bin Laden. And according to that Saudi Arabian intelligence document, it states, "bin Laden was very ill these past few weeks."

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