Leader likely on the run
BY AP Wire Service
Sep 14, 2001
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Osama bin Laden moved to a new hiding place within minutes of
the terrorist onslaught in the United States, refusing to tell anyone where he was going or
where he had been when the attacks occurred, sources in Pakistan's intelligence service said
The sources in neighboring Pakistan spoke on condition of anonymity. Pakistan is one of only
three countries that recognize Afghanistan's Taliban government, and it is considered to have
good intelligence on Islamic militants operating in Afghanistan. A U.S. official, also speaking
anonymously, confirmed the Pakistani report.
Bin Laden, a major suspect in Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,
dropped out of sight in August 1998, when the United States fired cruise missiles into eastern
Afghanistan following the terrorist bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.
Bin Laden was last seen in public in February, at his son's wedding in Kandahar, in
Kandahar is the Taliban militia's headquarters. Witnesses and other Afghan sources say that
near Kandahar's airport is a sprawling housing compound accommodating 300 so-called "Afghan
Arabs" -- foreign volunteers who came to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet army in the 1980s and
ended up in bin Laden's al-Qaeda (The Base) group.
Since Tuesday's attacks, there have been several reports from Kandahar of Arab nationals
leaving the area.
Bin Laden is known to travel in small convoys, often in a plain white jeep accompanied by
his closest bodyguards and only Arab nationals like himself. Taliban commanders who know bin
Laden say he rarely stays in one place for more than two days.
In his travels, Bin Laden is usually accompanied by Ayman Al-Zawari, who was convicted in
absentia and sentenced to death for the 1981 assassination of Egypt's President Anwar Sadat.
Bin Laden is known to run training camps in eastern Afghanistan, where mountain caves offer