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Senior US General Assumes bin Laden Is Alive - 2002-11-12


The man who led U.S. troops in the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan says he has always assumed the terrorist leader is alive. General Tommy Franks' comment comes as U.S. intelligence officials analyze a new audio tape purporting to be the voice of Osama bin Laden.

There has been no definitive word on Osama bin Laden's fate since the height of the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan late last year.

But General Tommy Franks, speaking in Florida, appears unfazed by the notion that the terrorist leader might still be alive. "If he's alive, we'll certainly get him," he said. "This much I can tell you, he's having a bad year."

General Franks' remark coincided with the broadcast by al-Jazeera television of a purported new bin Laden audiotape which praises recent terrorist attacks in Bali, Kuwait, Moscow and Yemen. It also warns of further terrorist attacks in the future.

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