Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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October 7, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Bin Laden is Alive:
Four Reports

Saudi Ex-Chief of Intelligence: Bin Laden Alive
    The former head of Saudi Arabia's intelligence service said in remarks published on Sunday that Osama bin Laden was alive and preparing for a surprise comeback.
    "I believe he is alive...and is waiting for the appropriate time. It will come as a surprise like he did before," Prince Turki al-Faisal told the Saudi-owned London-based Ashraq al-Awsat newspaper.
    Prince Turki was replaced by Prince Nawaf, one of King Fahd's half-brothers, shortly before the September 11 attacks. Prince Turki, a senior member of the Saudi royal family, had overseen the intelligence apparatus for 25 years.
    Prince Turki estimated that al Qaeda members still at large number about 5,000 people. Many Afghan officials have said they believe both bin Laden and Mullah Omar are alive. (Reuters)

U.S. Spy Satellite Reveals Bin Laden Still Alive
    Osama bin Laden is alive and regularly meeting Mullah Omar, the fugitive leader of the Taliban, according to a telephone call intercepted by American spy satellites.
    In the conversation recorded less than a month ago, Omar and a senior aide spoke using a mobile Thuraya satellite phone. Omar turned to a third person a few yards away, exchanged a few words with him, and then said that "the sheikh sends his greetings." Senior Taliban figures habitually refer to bin Laden as "the sheikh.
    Voice analysis appears to corroborate the identification of bin Laden. (Guardian - UK)

Bin Laden Alive Says "Ex-Taliban Diplomat"
    "Osama is alive and perfectly alright," Naseer Ahmad Roohi, who claimed to be the former first secretary at the Afghan embassy in the United Arab Emirates during the Taliban's rule, told a group of journalists at a secret location in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan.
    "I can say the same about Mullah Omar, who is alive and in Afghanistan. I met him in Afghanistan 15 days ago to receive instructions from him," Roohi said.
    "Omar is also in touch with Osama bin Laden. Osama is neither dead nor has he come to Pakistan," he said. "He's alive and in contact with Mullah Omar. He's inside Afghanistan, he never crossed the border (into Pakistan)." (South China Morning Post)

Voice on Tape Said to be Bin Laden's
    The Al-Jazeera television network Sunday released an audiotape it said was made by Osama bin Laden. (CNN)

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • U.S. to Warn Israel Before Iraq Attack
    Israel expects to receive a 72-hour notice from the U.S. in advance of any military action against Iraq, according to a report in Yediot Ahronot on Sunday. The Americans are also to provide up-to-the-minute satellite information that should detect the launch of any Iraqi Scud missiles headed toward Israel. (Toronto Star/AP)
  • Al Qaeda Suspected in Tanker Explosion
    A huge explosion Sunday left a French supertanker blazing off the Yemeni coast. "The crew saw a high-speed vessel approaching on the starboard side - an explosion followed," said Jacques Moizan, director of Euronav, which owns the tanker. The blast occurred two years after a small boat loaded with explosives rammed the U.S. Navy warship Cole in the harbor at Aden, killing 17 American sailors, in an attack U.S. officials attribute to al Qaeda. (Guardian - UK)
  • Bush Blocks Blair Initiative for Mideast Talks
    Mr. Blair made two public calls for a revival of negotiations aimed at securing a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. But the Guardian has learned that Mr. Bush has blocked the initiative and has made it clear to Mr. Blair that he does not want such talks to be held in the near future. (Guardian - UK)
  • In Gaza Strip, Death Shadows Israelis on Patrol - Colin Nickerson
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the military brass see Gaza as the next front in the Israeli drive to smash ''terrorist infrastructure.'' The past six months have seen more than 1,500 attacks against Israeli military positions or Jewish settlements in Gaza, including 682 gun battles, 320 grenade ambushes, 284 mortar assaults, and 23 rocket attacks. Some 141 Palestinian combatants have been killed and 400 wounded since April. (Boston Globe)
  • Israel Deploys New Missile Shield to Counter Scuds
    Israel has deployed an operational missile defense and is ready to use it to protect Tel Aviv and other major population centers if they come under fire from Iraq's arsenal of Scud missiles. Known as the Arrow, the system is designed to avoid the pitfalls of the American Patriot system, which Israelis say had little success in stopping Iraq's Scud missile attacks during the Persian Gulf war in 1991. (New York Times)
  • U.S. Investigates Terrorist Funding
    Six months after they raided the SAAR Foundation - a tight-knit cluster of prominent Muslim groups funded by wealthy Saudis - federal agents say they are pursuing the alleged transfer of millions of dollars to two overseas bankers designated by the U.S. government as terrorist financiers. (Washington Post)
  • New Evidence of Saddam-al Qaeda Contacts
    Richard Perle, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board of the Department of Defense, told Meet the Press on Sunday that Iraq has been involved with al Qaeda over a long period of time. "The more we look, the more we’re finding about the relationship between Saddam Hussein and elements of al Qaeda....There is convincing evidence that not only Mohammed Atta, but others among the hijackers met with the Iraqi intelligence," said Perle. (MSNBC)
  • A Plea for "Intimidation-Free" Campuses
    More than 300 university and college presidents have signed a statement calling for "intimidation-free" campuses. "In the past few months, students who are Jewish or supporters of Israel's right to exist - Zionists - have received death threats and threats of violence," said the statement, distributed by the American Jewish Committee. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • IDF Raids Hamas Stronghold in Gaza
    In response to a growing number of Kassem rocket firings and mortar attacks on Israeli communities, IDF soldiers backed by tanks and helicopters raided a Hamas stronghold in Khan Yunis in Gaza Monday morning, killing 12 Palestinians and wounding 110. Brig. Gen. Israel Ziff said that during the operation, troops met heavy resistance from Palestinian gunmen. As troops were beginning to withdraw, many armed men gathered in the streets. "They fired a lot and threw grenades. There was a battle there," Ziff said. "The helicopter aimed at this armed group and hit them." (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. Seen Tying Israel's Hands on Water Diversion
    Lebanon's Wazzani water diversion plan is an example of the Arab world's perception that the U.S. has tied Israel's hands before its impending attack on Iraq, a senior Israeli diplomatic official said Sunday. Lebanon is set to start experimental pumping from the river today, and to inaugurate the facility next week. The issue is expected to be discussed when Sharon meets Bush in Washington on October 16. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Saddam's Last Ploy - William Safire
    Is President Bush's purpose in Iraq limited to the destruction of all its present and potential weapons of mass destruction? Or is the goal "regime change" - to overthrow Saddam Hussein, liberate the Iraqi people, and remove the threat of terrorism planned against the U.S.? The answer I hope Bush will give is that the two purposes are inseparable; one cannot be achieved without the other. (New York Times)
  • A New Exodus for the Middle East? - Benny Morris
    One wonders what Ben-Gurion - who probably could have engineered a comprehensive rather than a partial transfer in 1948, but refrained - would have made of all this, were he somehow resurrected. Perhaps he would now regret his restraint. Perhaps, had he gone the whole hog, today's Middle East would be a healthier, less violent place, with a Jewish state between Jordan and the Mediterranean and a Palestinian Arab state in Transjordan. (Guardian - UK)
  • U.S. Actions Haven't been Anti-Muslim, Just Pro-Jew - Bill O'Reilly
    How many times have we heard: "The United States is partly to blame for world terrorism because it has abused and exploited the Muslim world"? This is an enormous lie and one that should be stopped dead in its tracks. The real reason that many Muslims hate America is that it supports and defends Israel. America is protecting millions of Jews from another mass homicide as sure as Yasser Arafat is a corrupt incompetent. (Nashville City Paper)
  • Talking Points:

    IDF: No Missiles in Western Iraq

    Interview with Major General Aharon Ze'evi, head of IDF Intelligence:

    • To the best of our knowlege, there are no missiles in western Iraq nor are there plans to deploy them there in the near future.
    • The nuclear threat from Iran is no less than that from Iraq, and the U.S. will need to address the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, after it attacks Iraq. (Ha'aretz)
    • Senior Palestinian leaders are conducting talks with the Hamas and Fatah to get them to adopt the "controlled conflict" scenario - no more homicide bombings within the 1967 borders, but permitting continued attacks in the West Bank and Gaza.
    • In the Palestinian Authority, they understand that if they do not take action to prevent terrorist attacks, the IDF will do it for them.
    • The Iraqis are involved with terrorist acts in Israel through two organizations: the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Arab Front. One attempts to carry out homicide attacks in Israel while the other collects and transfers money to support wounded terrorists and the families of suicide bombers. (IDF)

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