U.K.'s Blair Plans to Reveal Evidence Against Osama Bin Laden

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10/03 22:49 U.K.'s Blair Plans to Reveal Evidence Against Osama Bin Laden By Nick Wells

London, Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair will make public evidence linking Osama bin Laden to last month's terrorist attacks in the U.S., the U.K.'s Independent newspaper said, citing unidentified government officials.

Blair will use an emergency statement to parliament today to reveal for the first time ``incontrovertible'' evidence, the newspaper said on its Web site.

The U.K. and the U.S. have been struggling to find a way of releasing their intelligence on terrorist links without jeopardizing their security sources, the Independent reported.

Blair has backed any U.S. plan to strike at bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. About 200 U.K. citizens were among more than 6,000 people killed. The U.S. warned Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime, which is sheltering bin Laden, it will face military action if it doesn't hand him over and close terrorist training camps. The Taliban has asked for proof of bin Laden's involvement.

After his statement to a recalled House of Commons, Blair will fly to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to seal the international coalition against terrorism, the report said.

Blair may also travel to Pakistan this week, the Pakistani government said earlier. The U.K.'s Sun newspaper said yesterday Blair will fly to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, tomorrow. It didn't cite sources.

Blair's plans, if confirmed, suggest that U.S. and U.K. forces won't begin military operations in Central Asia this week. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is also in the region until Saturday, visiting Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Uzbekistan.

More than 20,000 U.K. military personnel are in Oman as part of an exercise that began in August and also involves fighter planes and an aircraft carrier-led group of ships.


-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), October 04, 2001

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