CIA director: Bin Laden alive

Nov. 13, 2008 at 6:12 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Terror leader Osama bin Laden is alive, CIA Director Michael Hayden said Thursday in a speech in Washington.

ABC News reported that Hayden said the al-Qaida leader is "putting a lot of energy into his own security."

Without elaborating, he also said the U.S. intelligence community thwarted an attack "that would have rivaled the destruction of 9/11," the network reported.

"America and its friends have taken the fight to the enemy," Hayden said. "Al-Qaida has suffered serious setbacks, but it is a determined, adaptive enemy unlike any our nation has ever faced."

The failure to kill or capture bin Laden seven years since the Sept., 11, 2001, attacks is partly because of the "rugged and inaccessible" terrain of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area.

"The truth is, we simply don't know what would happen if bin Laden is killed or captured, but I'm willing to bet that it would work in our favor," Hayden said.

Hayden did say the deaths of at least six top al-Qaida commanders in Pakistan had kept the terror group "off balance."

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