Report: Bush approves ''new plan'' to intensify Bin Laden hunt

Published February 29th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

US President George W. Bush has approved a plan to intensify efforts to capture or kill Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the New York Times reported Sunday, citing senior administration and military officials as saying. 


The scheme will apply both new forces and fresh tactics to the task, top officials in Washington and Afghanistan said. The group at the center of the effort is Task Force 121, the covert commando team of Special Operations forces and CIA officers.  


On Saturday, Iran's state radio, quoting an unnamed source, said the Al Qaeda chief was captured in Pakistan "a long time ago." Later, however, a Pakistan army spokesman and the Pentagon denied this report.  


The team, according to the Times report, was involved in former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's capture and is gradually shifting its forces to Afghanistan to step up the search for bin Laden and Mullah Muhammad Omar, the former Taliban leader. (

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