have they captured bin laden??????????

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    Bin Laden rumor prompts denial from White House

    Reports U.S. captured terror leader circulated after announcement of Bush news conference

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    Posted: March 6, 2003
    5:00 p.m. Eastern


    White House spokesman Ari Fleischer has denied a rumor circulating in Washington, D.C., that President Bush, in his 8 p.m. Eastern news conference tonight, will announce that terror leader Osama bin Laden has been captured.

    According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel Radio reported earlier today that Bush is scheduled to make the announcement tonight. In the same report, however, the paper confirms that Fleischer said no such announcement would be made.

    Speculation about a possible announcement of bin Laden's capture began when the news conference, Bush's first since November, was announced earlier today.

    Fleischer said Bush would have an opening statement about successes in the war against terrorism and the importance of disarming Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

    "This is a news conference. This is not a scheduled announcement of anything," he said.

    Pakistani and American forces have intensified the search for bin Laden along a southwestern stretch of the border with Afghanistan and carried out raids this week based on information received from arrested al-Qaida operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Pakistani intelligence and military officials said today.

    Mohammed, thought to be the No. 3 figure in the terror network, told interrogators he met bin Laden just weeks ago in a rendezvous set up through a network of phone calls and intermediaries, according to an AP report.

    At least two raids have been carried out in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan region based on information from Mohammed.
 
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