Israeli intelligence: Bin Laden is dead, heir has been chosen
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
TEL AVIV — Osama Bin Laden appears to be dead but his colleagues have decided that Al Qaida and its insurgency campaign against the United States will continue, Israeli intelligence sources said.
Al Qaida terrorists have launched a new campaign of economic warfare and are targeting shipping in the Middle East, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
The Israeli sources said Israel and the United States assess that Bin Laden probably died in the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan in December. They said the emergence of new messages by Bin Laden are probably fabrications, Middle East Newsline reported.
But Bin Laden's heir has been chosen and his colleagues have decided to resume Al Qaida's offensive against the United States and Western allies, the sources said.
They said the organization regards the United States as the main target followed by Israel.
"In this case, it doesn't matter whether Bin Laden is alive or not," a senior Israeli intelligence source said. "The organization goes on with help from key people."
The sources said Al Qaida has already determined Bin Laden's heir. They said the heir has not been identified, but is probably not Bin Laden's son, Saad. Saad is said to be in his 20s and ranked within the top 20 members of Al Qaida.