Osama is in Yemen or Somalia, not Pakistan: US counter-terrorism expert

Washington, Sept 14: The Bush Administration’s former chief counter-terrorism adviser, Richard Clark, has claimed that Osama bin Laden is either in Yemen or Somalia, and not in Pakistan.

Clark, who was also the chief counter-terrorism adviser to the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, said that bin Laden was propagating a kind of propaganda to lure Washington into a sense of neutrality to enable it to strengthen itself.

"Osama bin Laden had been saying for years, ‘America wants to invade an Arab country and occupy it, an oil-rich Arab country.’ He had been saying this. This is part of his propaganda," the Daily Times quoted Clark, as saying.
"In other words, we stepped right into bin Laden’s propaganda. And, the result of that is that al Qaeda and organisations like it, offshoots of it, second-generation al Qaeda have been greatly strengthened," he added.
In another interview to the CBS weekly show, 60 Minutes, in addition to a write-up in Newsweek, Clark said that after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre, he told his colleagues at the White House, "We have to deal with bin Laden; we have to deal with al Qaeda," but Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, said, "No, no, no. We don’t have to deal with al Qaeda. Why are we talking about that little guy? We have to talk about Iraqi terrorism against the United States."

Clark added: "I blame the entire Bush leadership for continuing to work on Cold War issues when they (came) back in power in 2001. It was as though they were preserved in amber from when they left office eight years earlier. They came back. They wanted to work on the same issues right away: Iraq, Star Wars. Not new issues, the new threats that had developed over the preceding eight years." (With Inputs from ANI)