Bin Laden still alive, says US army chief

 

Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden may be alive despite efforts to kill or capture him, General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said today.

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Are countries a little more careful about whether or not they want to provide haven for [al-Qaeda]? You bet your life they're more careful
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US Defense Secretary Mr Donald Rumsfeld
News Sunday

The New York Timesreported today that unidentified US administration officials said they have new indications that bin Laden is living along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Bin Laden's whereabouts have been unknown for months, with reports surfacing that he had died of a kidney ailment or had been killed in US assaults in Afghanistan.

Today, US Defense Secretary Mr Donald Rumsfeld said that although there has not been any recent evidence that he is alive, it does not mean he is dead.

"It simply means that we don't have evidence that he is or isn't. And what we'll learn over time remains to be seen," he told CBS TV.

Both General Myers and Mr Rumsfeld said that bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization was in disarray.

"The real test is, is he able to manage effectively the al-Qaeda network and engage in additional terrorist acts," said Mr Rumsfeld. "The short answer is no."

"To suggest that they're defeated would be wrong. They're not. Are they having trouble raising money? Yes. Are they having trouble transferring money? Yes. Are they having trouble communicating? To some extent, yes, we believe, certainly more trouble than they used to," he said.

"Are countries a little more careful about whether or not they want to provide haven for them? You bet your life they're more careful," Mr Rumsfeld added.