Taliban Refuse to Hand Over bin Laden Without Proof

The Taliban militia has issued an ultimatum to the United States stating that evidence against suspected Saudi terrorist, Osama bin Laden, must be submitted by November 20 or bin Laden would be cleared of any crimes. The United States hold Osama bin Laden responsible for the August 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Taliban’s chief justice, Noor Mohammed Saqid, stated recently, “If there is no proof submitted against bin Laden, then he is innocent.” State Department spokesman, James Rubin, offered a retort by saying that “… there is no expiration date on terrorist acts of this kind.”

Bin Laden has taken refuge in Afghanistan for some time after participating in the “holy war” to fight the Soviet occupation that began in 1979. It is believed that he lives near the city of Kandahar, the same city that houses the majority of the Taliban leadership. The Taliban have allowed bin Laden to stay in Afghanistan as a “guest”.

A Manhattan grand jury has issued a 238-count indictment that blames bin Laden for the bombings that killed 263 people, including 12 Americans.


Reuters - November 9, 1998

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