Qaeda Seen Planning Major Strikes - Bin Laden
Fri Nov 8, 7:56 AM ET
PARIS (Reuters) - Al Qaeda militants seem to be
attacks in several countries including the United
States, the head of the
world-wide police authority Interpol said in a
newspaper interview published
Without saying an attack was imminent, Interpol
Secretary General Ronald
Noble told the Paris daily Le Figaro that recent
intelligence suggested it
was gearing up for the attacks.
Noble also said he thought Al Qaeda chief Osama
bin Laden was alive,
even though nobody has been able to track him
"Something worrying is going on," he
said. "All intelligence experts are
agreed that al Qaeda is preparing a major
terrorist operation, simultaneous
attacks that would not target the United States
alone but several countries
at the same time."
"The field of battle now stretches to all
countries and mobilizes several
terrorist groups," he said.
Noble, the first American to head the France-based
coordinates international crime fighting, said
that, despite some successes
in cracking down on militant groups, particularly
in Europe, the risk of attacks
was as real as ever.
"I would say that the risk today is at least
as important as before September
11. Sleeping cells remain in place, unknown to the
police, but ready to act
from one day to another," he said.
Noble is the latest of a number of security
experts to have said recently they
think Saudi-born militant bin Laden escaped U.S.
bombing last year of his
former hideout in Afghanistan.
"Osama bin Laden is alive," he said.
"Despite intensive searches, we have not
managed to locate him. But until
someone can prove to me the contrary, I consider
Osama bin Laden a fugitive
who is alive," he said.
Noble said bin Laden's funding had been left
intact by efforts to crack down
on the financing of militant groups.
"Osama bin Laden is a multimillionaire. He
was hugely rich before September
11 and he still is today." he said,
estimating his fortune at between $280-300
million, a large part of which was held in cash.
General Richard Myers, the most senior U.S.
military officer, said on Thursday
he believed al Qaeda would still be able to launch
a "major terrorist operation"
whether bin Laden was alive or dead, and that
several operations had already
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