KARACHI, Pakistan -- As mystery persisted over the whereabouts of the
man most wanted by the United States, sources here said he was in
Pakistan last week and has now left for Iraq.
Osama bin Laden, the Saudi multi-millionaire, who carries a bounty of
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$5 million had set up camps in Afghanistan after being expelled from
The U.S. believes he is a mastermind terrorist. The "safe passage" to
the Saudi radical, who along with his hodgepodge army had camps in
Qandahar, Afghanistan, was a trade-off between Pakistan authorities and
the Taleban militia who rule most parts of Afghanistan. Earlier reports
had cited a Pakistan intelligence source as saying that bin Laden was
spotted near Afghanistan's border with Iran, but Tehran said this
statement was "irresponsible" and "regrettable."
A source with close links to the spooks in Pakistan, speaking on
he was not named, said that a bin Laden look alike was put in a Range
that was seen near the Iran borders to dodge any attempt on his life.
He said bin Laden was in the Pakistan city of Peshawar Friday and has
Iraq using the land route via Iran. He added: "Any travel by air would
been too risky for him."
Taleban supremo mullah Mohammed Umar said late Sunday that the
whereabouts of bin Laden remained a mystery. Other sources in the
government said he had left his place of residence without any trace.
Other diplomatic circles were speculating in Kabul that bin Laden might
still be in Afghanistan and that he was planning to leave for either
or the Gulf state of Dubai, where he has a significant following.
Pakistan's main opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, in an oblique
the role of the Pakistan authorities in bin Laden's escape asked the
government to come clean and explain the correct position on bin Laden.
Amid mounting Western pressure, the Taleban had put the Saudi dissident
under strict surveillance and had withdrawn all facilities of
with the outside world such as satellite phone and Internet.
The issue of bin Laden surfaced prominently in the recent visit of
Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. Likewise, junior minister at
the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Derek Fatchett, had raised
the issue of bin Laden with the government of Pakistan and also met