Monday, January 16, 2006

Australian "expert": bin Laden probably dead

According to a terrorism expert in Australia, bin Laden is probably dead.

Sydney, 16 Jan. (AKI) - An Australian terrorism expert says he has seen evidence, which could show al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is either seriously ill or dead. Professor Clive Williams, from Macquarie University told the Australian state radio ABC that he has been provided with evidence, by an Indian colleague, supporting the theory that bin Laden died of massive organ failure in April 2005.

Williams, a former Australian intelligence officer, said it may be impossible to ever prove if the al-Qaeda leader is alive or dead.

"It could be an embarrassment, particularly for an intelligence agency that said you know, we believe his dead, and then, you know a month later he pops up again," he told the ABC.

"But it does seem reasonably convincing based on the evidence that I've been provided with that he's certainly either severely incapacitated or dead at this stage."

Williams said Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's deputy, has been making all statements on behalf of Al-Qaeda for around a year. However he noted that even if Bin Laden was dead, it would not make that much difference as people would continue to fight for the things they believe he stood for.

Al-Zawahiri is believed to have been the target of a strike in Pakistan last week which has triggered massive anti-US protests throughout Pakistan.

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