Paper: Bin Laden Decries Summit in E-Mail

Published March 28, 2002

| Associated Press

A London-based Arabic newspaper said Wednesday it received an e-mail it claims might be from Usama bin Laden denouncing Saudi Arabia's Mideast peace plan.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper said it received a message calling the plan a "Zionist-American [initiative] in Saudi government clothes."

The authenticity of the e-mail couldn't be immediately determined. The paper, which provided a copy to The Associated Press, claimed its style and language resembled earlier statements by bin Laden, whom the United States believes is the architect of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The Saudi peace initiative, presented by Crown Prince Abdullah earlier Wednesday to an Arab summit in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, offers "normal relations" and security for Israel if it returns Arab lands occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The e-mail also praised Palestinian suicide attacks on Israelis.

The United States has said it is unsure whether bin Laden is alive or dead following heavy bomb attacks against suspected Al Qaeda hideouts in Afghanistan. Media reports have quoted Afghans as saying there have been recent sightings of bin Laden.

President Bush — who once said he wanted bin Laden dead or alive — said two weeks ago the Saudi-born dissident has been reduced to a marginal figure in the war on terrorism.

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