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RESPONSE TO TERROR | IN BRIEF / EGYPT

Taliban Offered to Give Saudis Bin Laden in '98

November 04, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The leader of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia agreed to extradite Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia in 1998 but reneged after U.S. strikes on Afghanistan that year, a former head of Saudi intelligence said.

Prince Turki al Faisal, who left his post a few days before Sept. 11, also said he is convinced that Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network were behind the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon.

He said he discussed Bin Laden's hand-over with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in a meeting in Kandahar, Afghanistan, two months before the August 1998 terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

He said Omar's response to the extradition request was favorable.

Then the U.S. embassies were blown up by truck bombs, killing 224 people, including 12 Americans. The U.S. fired cruise missiles at a Bin Laden camp in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan thought to be linked to the Saudi exile.

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