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February 21st, 2004 - 1:34 pm

From the Sunday Telegraph:

A BRITISH Sunday newspaper is claiming Osama bin Laden has been found and is surrounded by US special forces in an area of land bordering north-west Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Sunday Express, known for its sometimes colourful scoops, claims the al-Qaeda leader has been “sighted” for the first time since 2001 and is being monitored by satellite.

The paper claims he is in a mountainous area to the north of the Pakistani city of Quetta. The region is said to be peopled with bin Laden supporters and the terrorist leader is estimated to also have 50 of his fanatical bodyguards with him.

The claim is attributed to “a well-placed intelligence source” in Washington, who is quoted as saying: “He (bin Laden) is boxed in.”

UPDATE: The Australian adds one more detail — “The area makes an all-out conventional military assault impossible, according to the report. ”

UPDATE: And from DeepikaGlobal:

The US has scotched reports coming out of Pakistan that its forces have captured Osama bin Laden.

”That would be news to everybody in this room. No, I haven’t heard anything — haven’t heard anything like that,” spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters at the White House here yesterday.

Asked to clarify what prompted President Pervez Musharraf to say a couple of weeks ago that Pakistani forces would have bin Laden by the year-end, the spokesman said, ”I speak for the President.

Obviously, I don’t speak for President Musharraf.” As for whether the capture of bin Landen would signal the end of the war on terrorism, McClellan said the war on terrorism would continue.

UPDATE: Read this Washington Post story to learn why you shouldn’t get too excited by today’s reports.

UPDATE: The Command Post has multiple bloggers on the story.

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