Reports: Intensive search for Bin Laden based on new intelligence
Pakistani and U.S. forces intensified the search for Osama bin Laden along a southwestern stretch of the border with Afghanistan and carried out raids this week based on information from a newly captured al-Qaeda deputy, Pakistani intelligence and military officials said Thursday.
At least two raids have been carried out in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan region based on information from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, thought to be the No. 3 figure in al qaeda since his capture last weekend, another Pakistani intelligence official said, according to AP.
Telephone numbers taken from Mohammed's mobile phone are being tracked. The phone contained numbers inside and outside Pakistan, said a government official.
Since Mohammed's arrest, joint Pakistani and U.S. forces have been searching for bin Laden and his son, Saad, along the of border from the Baluchistan town of Chaman to the Iranian border, a Pakistan military source said.
Villagers contacted in Dal Bandin, located south of the Baluchistan capital of Quetta, said two military aircraft landed at their small airstrip and American forces got off.
The activity apparently generated rumors that bin Laden had been captured, but officials in Washington and in Pakistan said it was not true.
Since the weekend, residents in Chaman said U.S. aircraft swarmed overhead, dropping Pashtu-language leaflets on both sides of the border reminding them of the $25 million reward for bin Laden.
Despite these reports, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said bin Laden was unlikely to be in Pakistan. "He wouldn't be hiding alone or with one person...he seems to be alive," the Pakistani president told CNN in an interview broadcast on Friday. "He would be moving with a large number of bodyguards," he said. "He can't be in Pakistan."
"Our intelligence organizations are active all over the country and they are very actively involved in tracking down any leads that we get," he said. "They are actively involved also in the northern areas, in the tribal areas," Musharraf said.(Albawaba.com)
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