Report of Osama bin Laden's death on July 2002

0 CommentsPrint E-mail, May 5, 2011
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A CBS news said on July 17, 2002, that a FBI official thinks bin Laden dead:

FBI counterterrorism chief Dale Watson said on July 17, 2002, he believes Osama bin Laden is dead, the first time a senior U.S. law enforcement official has publicly given an opinion on the al Qaida leader's status.

Watson, who rarely makes public appearances, is the top official for counterterrorism and counterintelligence in the FBI. He did not elaborate on his comments on bin Laden and rushed away from reporters after he spoke.

The FBI has obtained samples of bin Laden's DNA and last month were checking it against tissue and body parts, including a skull, recovered from Afghan battlefields. The skull, however, turned out to belong to a woman.

In June, 2002, Abu Gaith, bin Laden's spokesman, released an audiotape to an Arab television outlet. He also claimed that "Sheikh Osama Bin Laden is in good health, and those in command of al Qaida are still carrying out their responsibilities."

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