A well-regarded Russian publication quotes the leader of the ousted Taleban movement as saying the world's most-wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden is still alive and plotting new attacks on the United States.
The weekly Russian paper Argumenty i Fakty today (Wednesday) gave no details of Mullah Mohammad Omar's whereabouts. But it said its information comes from a recently received e-mail reply to questions sent several months ago through mediators -- which included former Taleban officials and Arab journalists.
The Russian newspaper quotes Mullah Omar as calling the U-S-led military campaign in Afghanistan that drove the Taleban from power as unjust. The former Taleban leader warned that "the fire of this war will reach America and burn down its capital."
Mullah Omar also dismissed reports that Taleban resistance has been wiped out in Afghanistan, saying Taleban supporters suffered only minimal losses and are still ready to fight.
U-S-led coalition forces in Afghanistan are searching for Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. Previous reports have placed the Saudi exile and the Afghan cleric either in Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border, or in Pakistan.
Washington blames bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network for the September 11th attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that killed about three thousand people.