Tags: Commandos | Prepared | Capture | Bin | Laden

Commandos Prepared to Capture Bin Laden

Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:00 AM

The United States has linked Osama bin Laden to the bombing of the USS Cole last October in Yemen's port city of Aden that killed 17 sailors, as well as to two 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 220 people.

The commando missions were arranged by teams assembled by the CIA and the Defense Department, but abandoned because people in charge were not comfortable with the risks, ABC reported. Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia has refused to hand over bin Laden.

The commandos could be killed or captured, and any botched raid would only add to bin Laden's mystique, the report said, quoting U.S. officials.

"We have people that track him all the time and know him probably better than his wives know him," says Jeff Ellis, a former commando who participated in several secret missions to capture terrorists overseas.

"If there's an opportunity to grab this guy, the government, unless they've changed, will go after him," says Ellis

The report said bin Laden has proven to be an extremely difficult target. He has stopped using easy-to-trace satellite phones. He disguises his travel by using beaten-up old trucks or cars, sleeps in a different place every night and often changes his plans at the last minute. He is heavily guarded.

"The problem is, if one is going to contemplate a strike on him ... one needs absolutely perfect information. Not only now but where he will be in the next hour or two," says Ken Katzman, a former CIA analyst who now works for the Congressional Research Service.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The United States has linked Osama bin Laden to the bombing of the USS Cole last October in Yemen's port city of Aden that killed 17 sailors, as well as to two 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 220 people. The commando missions were arranged by teams...
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2001-00-30
Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:00 AM
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