France, US, unable to confirm report bin Laden dead

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    PARIS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - France and the United States said on Saturday they could not confirm a report that Osama bin Laden had died and France launched a probe into how a secret document containing the claim was leaked.

    French regional daily L'Est Republican, published in Nancy, quoted a document from France's DGSE foreign intelligence service as saying the Saudi secret services were convinced the al Qaeda leader had died of typhoid in Pakistan in late August.

    Time magazine separately posted an article on its website citing an unidentified Saudi source, who claimed bin Laden was stricken with a water-borne disease and may already be dead.

    President Jacques Chirac told reporters bin Laden's death "has not been confirmed in any way whatsoever, and so I have no comment to make."

    "I was a bit surprised to see that a confidential note from the DGSE had been published," he said after a summit with leaders of Germany and Russia.

    The Saudi Interior Ministry was not available for comment.

    Officials in the United States, which has made capturing bin Laden a priority in its war on terrorism, were unable to confirm the account.

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters in New York: "No comment, no knowledge," when asked about the French article. A U.S. intelligence source separately said Washington had no evidence this report was any more credible than earlier rumors of bin Laden's demise.

    "We've heard these things before and have no reason to think this is any different," said the U.S. intelligence official, who asked not to be named.

    "There's just nothing we can point to to say this report has any more credence than other reports we've seen in the past," the official said.


    In Paris, Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie ordered an investigation into the leak of the classified DGSE document.

    L'Est Republican printed what it said was a copy of the report, dated September 21, and said it had been passed to Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin the same day.

    "According to a usually reliable source, the Saudi services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead," it read.

    "The information gathered by the Saudis indicates that the head of al Qaeda fell victim, while he was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, to a very serious case of typhoid that led to a partial paralysis of his internal organs."

    The report, which was stamped "defense confidential" and with the initials of the French secret service, said Saudi Arabia first heard the information on September 4 and was waiting for more details before making an official announcement.

    Time magazine said its source claimed Saudi officials have received a number if reports in recent weeks that bin Laden had been struck by a water-borne illness and was likely dead, but had no solid proof.

    "He is very ill. He got a water-related sickness and it could be terminal. There are a lot of serious facts about things that have actually happened. There is a lot to it. But we don't have any concrete information to say that he is dead," Time quoted the source as saying.

    There was skepticism about whether Riyadh was well-placed to be the first to pick up on such a development.

    "If anyone was in the picture, I doubt it would be Saudi intelligence," a Western diplomat in Riyadh said.

    "Even if Saudi Arabia had information, they'd pass it on to the United States, not France. It doesn't ring true."

    A senior Pakistani government official said Islamabad had received no information from any foreign government that would corroborate the story.

    The Saudi-born bin Laden was based in Afghanistan until its Taliban government was overthrown by U.S.-backed forces after al Qaeda's September 11 attacks on the United States.

    Since then, U.S. and Pakistani officials have regularly said they believe bin Laden is hiding somewhere on the rugged border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Bin Laden is rumored to have been suffering from kidney ailments and receiving dialysis treatment.

    His last videotaped message was released in late 2004, but several low-quality audio tapes have been released this year.

    Senior U.S. intelligence figures have cautioned against assuming that bin Laden's death or capture would automatically have a substantial impact in the war on terrorism.

    They note that the death in June of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has failed to lead to any let-up in the violence there.

    (Additional reporting by Jon Boyle, Islamabad bureau, Mark Trevelyan in London, Paul Eckert in New York, Alister Bull in Washington, Andrew Hammond in Riyadh)
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I have a hard time thinking that French "intelligence" can be credible. Cleauseau to the rescue!!!
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    French there's an oxymoron.
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    If only..............
  5. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    There's a good reason Osama Bin Laden hasn't been spotted. I have it from a good source, a former military official that the reason Bin Laden hadn't been spotted is he and Donald Rumsfeld are actually the same person. The persona began when Rumsfeld wanted to meet with the resistance in Afghanistan and needed to be able to move about freely. They came up with the nose, beard and everything then, and it worked so well, he has used it many times. The only boo-boo was when they put too much of that instant tan stuff on him one time. Think about it, like Superman and Clark Kent,they have never been photographed together.
  6. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  7. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    One can only hope :D
  8. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Please add the Osama smilie to the list.
  9. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    :lol: I can't believe y'all don't believe me. I can't say I'm hurt..... but, if I had a feeling left, y'all would have hurt it. I can't even start my own rumor with this crowd. I ought to be as credible as a "former Bush official" that worked in the Labor department.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

  11. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks. I like it.


    Can't get enough.
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