CIA agent 'met Bin Laden in July'

by Toby Rose

Le Figaro today claimed that a CIA agent met Osama bin Laden in a Gulf hospital as recently as last July and received "precise information" about an imminent attack on the US.

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According to the French daily, the agent met Bin Laden while he was being treated at the American Hospital in Dubai for a kidney infection. The agent was subsequently recalled to Washington.

The hospital today vigorously denied the report, which is based on a number of sources, including French secret services and a hospital administrator.

Bin Laden is said to have arrived in the UAE from the Pakistan city of Quetta, accompanied by his personal physician, four bodyguards and an Algerian nurse. He was visited by family members and leading Saudis. The paper claims he was treated in the urology department headed by Dr Terry Callaway.

Bin Laden is said to have severe medical problems and "the kidney infection has spread to his liver". Le Figaro claims a mobile dialysis machine was delivered to his Kandahar hideout in Afghanistan last year.

In a further twist, French secret service operatives are said to have met officials from the US embassy in Paris last August after the arrest of Algerian Djamel Beghal in the UAE.

A French secret service report on 7 September warned of possible attacks, and that the order to act would come from Afghanistan. Le Figaro says very precise information on targets for attack was communicated to the CIA.

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Associated Newspapers Ltd., 31 October 2001
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