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March 6, 2003
 
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Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, the world's most-wanted terrorist, may be close to capture, U.S. officials say. (AP Photo)
Getting Closer
Bin Laden May Be Near Capture

By Brian Ross and David Scott
ABCNEWS.com

March 5 — U.S. intelligence officials believe the noose around Osama bin Laden is tightening, ABCNEWS has learned.


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There is new optimism that the world's most-wanted terrorist may soon be captured, officials say, because of information obtained from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Mohammed, believed to be the third-ranking al Qaeda leader and the planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, was captured last weekend in Pakistan.

The Pakistani province of Baluchistan borders Iran and Afghanistan. (Maps.com/ABCNEWS.com)
Based on new information from Mohammed, officials believe bin Laden may be in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, on the border of Iran.

There have been numerous unconfirmed reports of sightings of bin Laden in the area on both sides of the Pakistani-Iranian border. Mohammed has extensive family roots in the area.

"This has strengthened our belief that we are going to get him," one U.S. intelligence official tells ABCNEWS.

Analysts believe Mohammed was recently in direct communication with people in bin Laden's camp, though intercepted telephone calls did not capture the voice of the al Qaeda leader himself.

There have been numerous additional unconfirmed reports that bin Laden was in the region, and possibly in Iran itself. Bin Laden's son Saad was recently in the Iranian capital, Tehran, European anti-terrorism officials tell ABCNEWS.

 
 
 
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