Bin Laden Dead? One Can Only Hope So!
24 September 2006
IS BIN DEAD?
Terror warlord is 'killed by typhoid'
By Vincent Moss, Political Editor
London Sunday Mirror
OSAMA bin Laden has been killed by typhoid, it was claimed last night. The al-Qaeda chief is said to have died last month after medics were unable to reach him in the remote mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Reports of his death emerged yesterday in a security report leaked to a newspaper in France. It said: "According to a reliable source, Saudi security services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead.
"His isolated geographical position meant it was impossible to get medical assistance to him.
"On September 4, 2006 the Saudi secret service received the first information making clear that he had died."
The report - stamped "confidential" - was passed to President Jacques Chirac. He confirmed yesterday that the document, dated September 21, did exist.
French Special Forces are operating in Afghanistan as part of NATO, and are a key part of the anti-al-Qaeda alliance.
Their role means they are high on the list of countries receiving vital intelligence about the war on terrorism.
But security sources in France, Britain and the US were last night unable to confirm if the report was true.
It claims the Saudis believe bin Laden was struck by typhoid on August 23 - and left partially paralysed.
Saudi Arabia first heard reports of his death 12 days later, but was waiting for more details before making an announcement.
But a senior British intelligence source warned: "There is no definite proof of his death."
And an official in Pakistan's interior ministry said: "We have no information about Osama's death."
A £13million bounty was put on bin Laden's head after he was blamed for the 9/11 outrages in America five years ago. Despite a massive manhunt, there has been no firm evidence of where he has been since December 2001.
He was based in Afghanistan until the Taliban government was overthrown by US-backed forces in 2001.
Since then, he has been believed to be hiding in a network of caves on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The last videotaped message released by him was in late 2004. But there have been several low-quality audio tapes released this year.
French authorities said last night they were investigating the source of the leaked intelligence report.
The French government yesterday made it clear that a body was always required before official confirmation of a death.
There have been reports of bin Laden's illness or death in recent years - but none has been proved true.