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COLUMN SIXTY-SEVEN, JANUARY 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 Al Aronowitz)
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ABOUT BIN LADEN AND THE CIA
Bin Laden & the CIA
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 10:31:42 -0500
bin Laden treated at US hospital
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A CIA agent allegedly met with suspected terrorist mastermind
Osama bin Laden in July, while the Saudi underwent treatment for kidney problems
at an American hospital in Dubai, France's Le Figaro newspaper reported
Laden reportedly checked into the American Hospital Dubai, a 100-bed, acute-care
general hospital, July 4 and stayed until July 14. He arrived from
Le Figaro cited a "professional partner" linked to the hospital's
management as its source.
a stream of local dignitaries and family members, bin Laden's visitors included
a local CIA agent, the newspaper reported. The agent was widely recognized
locally, Le Figaro said, and later told several friends of the meeting.
alleged American spy was called back to the CIA's McLean, Va., headquarters July
15---a day after bin Laden checked out, Le Figaro reported, citing
bin Laden would have met with a CIA officer---or vice versa---is unclear. Even
before the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, the Saudi millionaire figured
among America's top terrorist suspects, blamed for several earlier plots against
U.S. targets, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
the French newspaper asserted CIA-bin Laden links stretched back years, and
appeared to suggest bin Laden gave the agency information regarding future
Dubai meeting is therefore a logical follow to a "certain American
policy," the newspaper said.
particular, the newspaper noted that just two weeks after bin Laden checked out
of the Dubai hospital, United Arab Emirates security agents arrested the alleged
mastermind of a plot to blow up the American Embassy in Paris. The suspect, a
French-Algerian named Djamel Beghal, earlier confessed to receiving his orders
from bin Laden, according to French news media citing his written confession.
American diplomat in Paris refused to comment on the Figaro article, or on
reported allegations of an emergency meeting in Paris in August, between high
level French and American intelligence officials.
just not comment any of that stuff," he said. "We can't talk about
meetings like that may or may not have happen."
Figaro said bin Laden had serious kidney problems, and reportedly had a dialysis
machine imported to Afghanistan last year. Citing a March 2000 report by Asia
Week, the newspaper said bin Laden's illness stemmed from "a renal
infection that has spread to the liver, and needs specialized treatment."
head of the Dubai hospital's urology department, Terry Callaway, reportedly
refused to answer questions about bin Laden's alleged stay. Radio France
reported Wednesday the American hospital has denied bin Laden was treated there.
© 2001 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
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reports new CIA-Bin Laden details
The Washington Times
reports new CIA-Bin Laden details
Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Radio France International offered additional details Thursday
of allegations that terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden met with a CIA officer in
the United Arab Emirates in July.
CIA has dismissed as "total absurdity" a report carried Wednesday by
Radio France and by France's Le Figaro newspaper, alleging that a CIA agent met
with bin Laden at a Dubai clinic, where the suspected terrorist was reportedly
clinic, said to be the American Hospital in Dubai, also denied bin Laden had
been a patient. The American Embassy in Paris has not commented on the report.
Paris-based International Herald Tribune suggested the erroneous information may
have been leaked by opponents in France to the U.S. military campaign in
may have been planted ... to suggest a continuing covert linkage between the CIA
and bin Laden," a French intelligence source told the Herald Tribune.
Radio France International, for one, said it stood by its report. In a follow-up
Thursday, the French radio station identified the alleged CIA agent as Larry
Mitchell, "a connoisseur of the Arab world and specialist of the (Arab)
business card identified him as a "consular agent," the radio said. In
fact, RFI alleged, he was a CIA agent and a prominent fixture in Dubai's
expatriate community. According to both the radio and Le Figaro, Mitchell was
recalled to the CIA's headquarters in McLean, Va., on July 15.
radio also gave the precise date of Mitchell's supposed encounter with bin
Laden---July 12, two days before the Saudi dissident reportedly checked out of
the Figaro, nor Radio France offered independent confirmation of the report. The
radio station also cited no source for its latest allegations.
an interview published Thursday in Le Figaro, Arab specialist Antoine
Laden maintained contacts with bin Laden until 1998," Sfeir said.
"Those contacts didn't end after bin Laden moved to Afghanistan. Until the
last minute, CIA agents hoped bin Laden would return to U.S. command, as was the
case before 1998."
also maintained the information about the CIA-bin Laden connection had been in
circulation for the past 15 days.
Copyright © 2001 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. ##
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