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CIA Paid Saudi to Poison bin Laden in 1998

The Herald in London writes: "CIA paid Saudi to poison bin Laden

Ian Bruce

THE CIA paid a Saudi intelligence agent £140,000 to poison Osama bin Laden in 1998 after the failure of a missile attack on his Afghan bases in retaliation for the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

But the world's most wanted man survived the assassination attempt by a hairsbreadth, suffering acute kidney failure in the process. He still walks with the aid of a stick and has not fully recovered.

The man chosen for the task was Siddiq Ahmed, an agent working for Saudi Arabia's external intelligence agency who was already operating covertly on behalf of Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, the governor of Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

Roping the Saudis into the act circumvented the US congressional ban on state-sponsored assassinations. The money paid to Ahmed, posing as a mujahideen volunteer, was also ostensibly Saudi, although intelligence sources say Prince Salman was reimbursed from CIA "black funds".

Former President Bill Clinton admitted at the weekend that he had authorised a special forces' operation to seize or kill bin Laden the same year. This had been called off at the last minute by the State Department, the US Foreign Office equivalent, on the grounds that any attempt to storm the terrorist leader's mountain lair in the Hindu Kush would result in "unacceptably heavy American casualties".

Full story at http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/archive/25-9-19101 -1-4-59.html"