This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, March 22, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST:  

VAN SUSTEREN:  Tonight: Pakistan says there is no evidence suggesting Al Qaeda's second most wanted was among the hundreds of militants surrounded last week. There are reports Ayman al Zawahiri may have fled through a series of secret tunnels recently discovered in Pakistan.

Our next guest personally spoke to al Zawahiri and uncovered some frightening new information.  Joining us by phone from Islamabad is Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir.  Hamid has met with both Usama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri.

Hamid, when did you last speak to or see al Zawahiri?

HAMID MIR, PAKISTANI JOURNALIST:  I last spoke to him on 8th of November, 2001, just two days before the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.  And the meeting took place around Kabul (search) because I'm not sure about the place because I was blindfolded.  But both bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri were there.  And in that meeting, when Usama bin Laden (search) claimed during an interview that he has nukes, I was not ready to believe, and I was about to reject his claim.  But then the interview was finished, Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri (search) engaged me in a conversation and he told me that they have brought some small suitcase nuclear bombs from the black market of Russia.  So it was -- the claim was made on 8th of November (ph), 2001.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Did you -- did you pry a little bit further, for instance, even asking for more details, like price?  And I realize that he said he bought it in Russia.  Any more details about it?

MIR:  Yes, you see, when the Taliban (search) regime was collapsed in December, 2001, just few weeks after my interview with both of them, then Afghanistan was a free country, and I got the opportunity to move in different parts of Afghanistan.  And there was a lot of evidence that -- in different mountain areas of Afghanistan, the Taliban and the Al Qaeda, both of them had established many nuclear labs, in which they were trying to -- they were trying to test their chemical weapons.  And on some places, some material was confiscated.  And that material indicated that they were trying to make bombs, but they were not able to make big bombs.

Maybe they can use these kind of material in different parts of the world as a dirty bomb.  But I investigated a lot about their claim of small suitcase bombs, and some people in the Kuna (ph) province of Afghanistan claimed that they went to Moscow and they contacted some Russian scientists.  And the contact person of Ayman al Zawahiri and Usama bin Laden with Russian scientists was an Uzbek whose name was Juman Amangani (ph).  And he struck the deal with the Russian scientists for the purchase of small nuclear bombs.

VAN SUSTEREN:  In the 30 seconds we have left -- and it's only 30 seconds -- Hamid, what words do you use to describe al Zawahiri?

MIR:  You see, al Zawahiri is an Egyptian, and he is -- he was an extremist, and he was arrested in Egypt.  He was involved in the killing of President Anwar Sadat.  He was against Egypt's...

VAN SUSTEREN:  And I -- and I...

MIR:  ... rapprochement with Israel and...

VAN SUSTEREN:  And I think that -- and I hate to interrupt you...

MIR:  ... one can say he is the brain behind Usama.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  Thank you, Hamid.  Sorry to interrupt you.  Appreciate it.

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