Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted man, underwent kidney dialysis in a military hospital in Pakistan on Sept. 10, one day before his Al Qaeda organization launched the attacks on New York and Washington, the CBS television network reported on Monday. The Saudi millionaire whom the U.S. government holds responsible for the attacks, received dialysis at a hospital in Rawalpindi, CBS added.
CBS based its report on statements made by a nurse and a hospital employee, neither of whom were identified. Bin Laden has not been seen since last December, when the Al-Jazeera television network broadcast a videotape evidently made in the middle of that month.
White House: Bin Laden Likely Alive
Osama bin Laden is probably still alive and will be caught, high-ranking Bush administration officials said Sunday, however, his capture is not necessary to disrupt global terrorism, they pointed out.
“I think we can probably prevent future attacks against the United States even if we don't get bin Laden,” Vice President Dick Cheney said on ABC's “This Week.” “I want bin Laden because of what he did on 9-11.”
Bin Laden has been the subject of a massive manhunt since the September attacks. His whereabouts remain a mystery and new theories regarding them emerge on a regular basis.
Some Bush administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have begun stating recently that the war on terrorism can be successful without catching Bin Laden personally.
“Bin Laden by himself isn't that big a threat,” Cheney made clear. “Bin Laden connected to this worldwide organization of terror is a threat. We're going to go after him, but we're also after the network.”
Cheney said he was skeptical with regards to Pakistan’s President Musharraf’s statement earlier this month claiming he believes Bin Laden is dead due to kidney disease. ”If he were dead, there'd be more indications of it than we've seen. ...There'd be more noise in the system about his demise and about the future of the organization if, in fact, he were no longer there,” Cheney expressed on “Fox News Sunday.”
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card made similar comments. “We know he's on the run,” Card said on CNN's “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.” “I do not know for a fact that he's alive. I happen to believe he's probably alive.”
Card also seemed to play down the importance of capturing bin Laden, even though he vowed the United States would get him. “But understand that that's not the overall objective,” Card explained. “Our overall objective is to defeat terrorism, wherever it is around the world. And so, our objective is not to get Osama bin Laden.”
Six Al Qaeda Members Killed
Six armed al Qaeda fighters, situated for six weeks now, in a Kandahar hospital ward, were killed Monday after U.S. Special Forces together with Afghan soldiers launched an assault on the facility, authorities said.
CNN reported that a government official in Kandahar said that Afghan officials had given the six fighters the opportunity to surrender but they had refused, choosing to fight till death. Five Afghan fighters were reported wounded in the assault, which lasted an estimated 12 hours.
The six members of al Qaeda had barricaded themselves in the hospital in a standoff that began after the Taliban fled the city last month. They had threatened to blow themselves up if anyone tried to move in on them. (Albawaba.com)
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