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U-S Officials Concerned About bin Laden Weapons Claim - 2001-11-11


Top U-S officials say they are seriously concerned about Osama bin Laden's claim to have nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told A-B-C television the United States is doing everything it can to prevent the bin Laden terrorist network, al-Qaida, from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. She said Washington takes the threat very seriously, but she added there is no credible evidence that al-Qaida has nuclear weapons.

On another T-V program (Fox), Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U-S forces have bombed some sites in Afghanistan that could have been involved in producing weapons of mass destruction. However, he said other such sites remain untouched or have not been found.

The New York Times newspaper reported today (Sunday) that the United States has identified, but not bombed, sites in Afghanistan suspected of having links to al-Qaida's efforts to acquire and produce weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Rumsfeld said Osama bin Laden either has, will have or wants to have chemical, biological or radiological weapons. He said the United States needs to know more about whether al-Qaida has such weapons.

Saturday, the (English-language) Dawn newspaper in Pakistan published an interview in which Osama bin Laden threatens to use nuclear and chemical weapons against the United States, if such weapons are used against him.

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Meanwhile, a British newspaper says Osama bin Laden has accepted responsibility for the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States and is threatening to kill more civilians.

The Sunday Telegraph says the Saudi fugitive's admission came in a video it says was made in Afghanistan at the end of October and is circulating among supporters of his al-Qaida network.

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