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60 MINUTES: OSAMA BIN LADEN'S FORMER PERSONAL BODYGUARD IS CERTAIN THE AL-QAEDA LEADER IS PLANNING A NEW ATTACK AGAINST THE U.S.
Thu Mar 30, 2006 14:31:00 2006
In the First Television Interview of an Al-Qaeda Member Close to Osama Since 9/11, Abu Jandal Offers First-Hand Details About the Most-Wanted Man in the World.
A former personal bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden says he is certain the al-Qaeda leader is planning an attack on the U.S. In the first television interview with an al-Qaeda member close to bin Laden since 9/11, Abu Jandal tells Bob Simon first-hand details about the world's most wanted man for a 60 MINUTES report to be broadcast Sunday, April 2 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Abu Jandal, who was with bin Laden in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2000, says bin Laden's last tape on which he threatened consequences to the U.S. is not a threat, but a promise. "When Sheik Osama promises something, he does itï¿½.So I believe Osama bin Laden is planning a new attack inside the United States, this is certain," he tells Simon in the interview conducted in Yemen earlier this month.
It's been long speculated that bin Laden is hiding in the tribal areas of Pakistan, but Abu Jandal says Afghanistan is the place. "Not Pakistan. I know the Pakistani tribe along the border very well. Yes, they can be very trustworthy and faithful to their religion and ideology, but they are also capable of selling information for nothing," he says.
Even if found, bin Laden will not be captured, says Abu Jandal, whho says the al-Qaeda leader gave him the authority to kill him if he was surrounded. "If he was going to be captured, Sheik Osama prefers to be killed than captured," he tells Simon. "There was a special gun to be used if Sheik Osama bin Laden was attacked and we were unable to save him, in which case I would have to kill him," says Abu Jandal.
The closest the Americans came to getting bin Laden before 9/11, recounts Abu Jandal, was the U.S. missile attack on al-Qaeda training camps near Khost, Afghanistan -- a retaliatory strike for the al-Qaeda bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998. It was luck that saved him the night before the strike. "There was a fork in the road," remembers Abu Jandal, "one road leading to Khost and the training camps and another one leading to Kabul. I was with Sheik Osama in the same vehicle with three guards... he turned to us and said, 'Khost or Kabul?' We told him, 'Let's just visit Kabul.' Sheik Osama said, "Okay, Kabul.'" So the missile strike the next day failed to get bin Laden, but the man they think provided information that led to it was discovered. "It was the Afghan cook," said Abu Jandal. He says he would have killed the man who betrayed bin Laden himself, but bin Laden forgave him and sent him home. "Sheik Osama even gave him money and told him, 'Go provide for your children.'"
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