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Only his second-in-command knows for sure Photo: Reuters
Only his second-in-command knows for sure Photo: Reuters

‘Bin laden dead’

Radical internet site says al-Qaeda leader dead; experts believe report a fabrication

By Roee Nahmias
Published: 04.29.05, 10:54 / Israel News

An internet news site close to al-Qaeda reported the death of Osama Bin Laden, creating a firestorm in radical Islamic circles.


The report was followed by denials and accusations of a fabrication fostered on the site by foreign agents.


The London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Friday that the site Minbar Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Jama'ah declared, “We now report that the al-Qaeda organization has announced the death of Osama Bin Laden.”


One of the writers on the site, working under the pseudonym “The Mujahiddin’s Pen,” added: “Osama Bin Laden is dead... Where are the mourners? Where those who sent themselves into the towers and tall buildings?”


Some suspect disinformation tactic


Omar Bakri, a radical Islamic leader in London, told the newspaper that the style of the announcement seemed authentic. However, he thought it was a forgery designed to cause tumult.


Dr. Hani al-Sibai, head of the al-Maqrizi Center for Historical Studies, said, “If Bin laden was really dead, the name of his replacement, Ayman al-Zawahari, would have been announced.”


The Egyptian Islamist Yaser a-Sari told the newspaper that Bin Laden is alive and will soon put out a new videotape. A-Sari said the purpose of the report was designed to prepare followers psychologically for the al-Qaeda leader's death – something that could happen at any moment.


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