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Rumors of Osama bin Laden’s death are greatly exaggerated and the al-Qaida leader is preparing his next video broadcast to be aired on al-Jazeera, reports an acclaimed Pakistani journalist who has interviewed him.
Journalist Mir with bin Laden
In an exclusive interview with Paul L. Williams, author of the new book, “The Dunces of Doomsday,” and David Dastych in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, Hamid Mir says bin Laden is not only alive and well but in the process of preparing a video-taped appearance for al-Jazeera, the Qatari Arabian news network.
Mir, who conducted the only post-9/11 interviews with bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, says that he remains in sporadic indirect contact with the elusive emir and other al-Qaida officials.
During one of Mir’s interviews, bin Laden announced that he had managed to acquire nuclear weapons for use in the great jihad against the United States.
“It is not difficult [to obtain tactical nukes],” the al-Qaida chieftain said, “not if you have contacts in Russia with other militant groups. They are available for $10 million and $20 million.”
Just over a month ago, on March 15, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., told the Philadelphia Inquirer that bin Laden had died of natural causes in Iran. The source for Weldon’s monumental announcement was an Iranian exile with the codename Ali. “Ali,” he said, “told me that Osama bin Laden is dead. He died in Iran.”
Weldon has long insisted that bin Laden had found sanctuary in Iran. In June 2005, the Pennsylvania congressman exclaimed: “I’m confident that I know for sure that bin Laden has been in and out of Iran. Two years ago, he was in the southern town of Ladis, 10 kilometers inside the Pakistan border. I also know that earlier this year he had a meeting with al-Zarqawi in Iran. If you look at the recent comments coming out of the CIA and some of our military generals, they’re now acknowledging the same thing that I’ve been saying — that, in fact, he’s been in and out of Iran.”
Weldon’s comments made headlines throughout the country.
But contrary to accounts by Weldon, Mir maintains that bin Laden found shelter in the frontier regions of Pakistan, not Iran, in the wake of the bombing of his mountain fortress at Tora Bora. Among the Pashtun tribes, bin Laden remained protected by the Islamic code of mimesis, which demands protection for fellow Muslims who seek shelter in their country — even if such shelter means risking their lives.
From 2002 to 2004, bin Laden spent most of his time in the valley of Dir, about 50 miles from the Afghan border on the Kunar Province. Dir remains within the Malakand Pass, the site of some of the fiercest skirmishes under the British Raj. A Pakistani fort still stands where the young Winston Churchill shot down rebels and received a citation for heroism. The fort is presently occupied by Maulvi Sufi Mohamad, an old and revered Muslim scholar, who maintains a Taliban-style rule of the area with public executions of adulterers, homosexuals, apostates and Christian infidels. It was an area in which bin Laden felt quite at home.
Despite the $25 million bounty the U.S. government placed on his head — a bounty that is proclaimed by thousands of Pashtu-language leaflets that are dropped by U.S. aircraft on a regular basis, bin Laden felt secure enough to travel to other parts of Pakistan, including periodic trips to Peshawar and the smuggler-infested bazaar town of Rabate J’ali, north of Zahedan, within the center of “the Devil’s Triangle,” the conjunction of the borders of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
In 2004, according to Mir, bin Laden resettled in the Kunar province of eastern Afghanistan, only to return to the tribal regions of Pakistan in 2005.
Mir maintains bin Laden now regularly moves from both locations with little fear of capture. The Pakistani journalist says that his beliefs in this regard have been confirmed by Gen. Richard Myers and other leading American military officials.
Mir’s account of the present whereabouts of the elusive emir confirms a story published by WorldNetDaily Aug. 6, 2005.
Bin Laden, according to Mir, has recently met with Mullah Omar in Afghanistan and will appear on al-Jazeera, the Arab news network, with “a very important message” for the American people within the immediate future.
For the complete report on bin Laden’s whereabouts, more details on the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and all the latest news on the intelligence front, subscribe to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Get Paul Williams’ latest book on the nuclear capabilities of Osama bin Laden, “The Dunces of Doomsday.”