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Report: Bin Laden alive, preparing attack

July 30, 2002 at 5:43 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, July 30 (UPI) -- Osama bin Laden's al Qaida network will carry out a series of operations in August and the suspected terrorist mastermind will appear in a taped recording soon after that, the London-based Ash Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Tuesday.

Sources, who the newspaper said were close to bin Laden's supporters, told Ash Sharq al-Awsat al Qaida had completed plans for its operation. Targets were not mentioned, however.

"Preparations are under way and what remains is only the execution," the sources said via e-mail.

They also said bin Laden was well.

"Sheikh bin Laden is alive and will appear in a videotape after carrying out this operation to confirm that he is still alive and will continue fighting the United States," they said.

Bin Laden has been missing since the United States and its allies ousted Afghanistan's Taliban regime, which gave al Qaida shelter in the country.

The sources said bin Laden would shed light on "the success of al Qaida in containing attacks launched by the United States, on rebuilding and reorganizing its ranks ... and carrying out attacks in various countries of the world against U.S. interests."

Ash-Sharq al-Awsat also referred to reports that al Qaida had been planning an attack on U.S. interests to coincide with the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

On Monday, the Saudi newspaper said bin Laden's eldest son, Saad, had taken over as leader of al Qaida.

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