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Karzai Says He Is Looking for Bin Laden

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday he is not convinced that Osama bin Laden is alive, but he wishes the al-Qaida leader would appear to answer for his actions — “to God and to mankind.” During a news conference at the National Press Club, Karzai said he doubts the authenticity of recent audiotapes in which someone said to be bin Laden tries to rally Iraqis and expresses a desire to die a martyr. If bin Laden has more to say, Karzai said, he should do so on videotape. “If he is alive, then he must show up and have a video for us to watch,” Karzai said. “If he can send an audiotape, he can also send a videotape. They are almost the same size. … That would be, for us, an indication that he is alive.” U.S. intelligence officials are almost certain the voice on the tape belongs to bin Laden. Karzai’s assessment also contradicted that offered Monday by his foreign minister, Abdullah, who said he believes bin Laden and Mullah Mohammed Omar, former leader of the Taliban movement, may be hiding in the mountains along the border with Pakistan. Abdullah was seated beside Karzai as he spoke Thursday, and did not react to Karzai’s remarks. The Afghan president said bin Laden was a ruthless exploiter of poor Muslims and the perpetrator of “unbelievable brutality” against Afghans. “And then he went beyond that to attack humanity all over, in America and in the Islamic world,” Karzai said. Full Story

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