Afghanistan: February 23, 2004


The Taliban, responding to American assurances that Osama bin Laden would be captured this year, have publicly responded. The Taliban spokesman said that bin Laden was in Afghanistan, planning additional attacks on Americans. Bin Laden may well be in Afghanistan, as it is becoming more dangerous to be in Pakistan. Across the border, the Pakistanis have not only brought in 70,000 police and soldiers, but, more ominously, also put pressure on the tribal chiefs to give up bin Laden and Taliban leaders. Whoever does, will be richly rewarded, whoever does not, and is caught giving sanctuary, will suffer retribution. The tribal chiefs know that Pakistani president Musharraf is under a lot of pressure from the Americans on the bin Laden and Taliban issue, and may well carry out on these threats.


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