Based on reports from "informed Pakistani sources," Qatari television journalists reported that two U.S. military aircraft have landed in Pakistan and are preparing to launch a raid on Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden. A Qatari satellite television station reported that ždozens of commandosÓ are preparing to attack bin Laden.
Bin Laden, who is accused of masterminding bombing attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania last year, has taken refuge in Pakistan. His guerilla operation is based in Afghanistan. The leader of the Jamiat Ulema-I-Islam party in Pakistan, Maulana Fazlur rehman, defended bin Laden, saying, "Any attack on Osama will be considered an attack on Islam and Pakistan and that would be resisted with force. In the event of an American attack on Afghanistan, there will be war, not against America but against Americans."
Qatari television also reportedly received information about U.S. military actions from the Taliban, a militant Islamic regime that has instilled a system of gender apartheid in Afghanistan.
A spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, David Leavy, has denied the televised reports. Leavy said, "This is an inaccurate report and should not be taken seriously." President Clinton has previously stated that the U.S. will not rest until justice is served for the victims of the embassy bombings.