CAIRO, Egypt – Usama bin Laden was wounded in a U.S. bombing raid in Afghanistan last year but is in good health, a London-based Arabic newspaper said Tuesday.
There was no way to verify the report in London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi. U.S. officials say they have no evidence bin Laden was wounded in the U.S. bombing of Al Qaeda hideouts in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, late last year, but acknowledge it is a possibility.
The newspaper's editor, Abd al-Bari Atwan, gave several interviews Monday to promote the story. He said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that bin Laden underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from his left shoulder.
Atwan told the AP on Monday that sources close to the Al Qaeda leader "confirmed to me that the man is in good health" after recovering from the wound.
Atwan added he had been told that Al Qaeda supporters were planning new attacks and that bin Laden was planning to capitalize on a possible U.S. strike on Iraq.
While the Bush administration has said publicly it does not know whether bin Laden is alive or dead, U.S. counterterrorism officials privately acknowledge they believe he is alive.
In Washington, Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said she was aware of the report "but we don't have anything to add to it."
On Saturday, the head of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, was quoted in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper as saying bin Laden is alive and hiding along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.