ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) Osama bin Laden said he had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks in the United States, and declared he would never allow himself to be captured, in the second part of a newspaper interview published yesterday.
“America can”t get me alive,” bin Laden was quoted as saying. “I can be eliminated, but not my mission.”
Bin Laden granted the interview Wednesday to Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who said he was blindfolded and bundled into a jeep in the Afghan capital, Kabul. He said he was driven five hours to a cold, mud hut where he spoke with bin Laden for two hours.
It was impossible to independently verify Mir”s account of the interview.
Mir”s newspaper, Ausaf, published part of the interview Saturday and included additional excerpts yesterday. Mir, who has written a biography of bin Laden that will be published soon, said the terror suspect declined to answer many of his questions.
When Mir asked if bin Laden was responsible for the anthrax attacks, he laughed and said: “We don”t know anything about anthrax.”
Bin Laden did claim in the portion of the interview published Saturday that his al-Qaida organization had nuclear and chemical weapons and would use them if the United States employed such weapons on him.
Mir wrote that when he asked bin Laden where he allegedly got the mass destruction weapons, bin Laden replied: “Go to the next question.”
The United States says it has no evidence that bin Laden possesses nuclear weapons. Intelligence experts believe al-Qaida has experimented with crude chemical weapons at a training camp in Afghanistan.
FBI officials say there is no direct link between anthrax attacks in the United States and any cell or network, including al-Qaida.
Mir said bin Laden vowed that if his Taliban allies lose Kabul and other cities, “we will move to the mountains. We will continue our guerrilla warfare against the Americans.”