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Son detained iran allegedly captured hundreds { November 3 2002 }

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Report: Bin Laden Son Detained
Iran Allegedly Captured Hundreds With Links to Al Qaeda

Associated Press
Sunday, November 3, 2002; Page A24

LONDON, Nov. 3 (Sunday) -- Iranian security forces have detained one of Osama bin Laden's sons and more than 200 other people suspected of links to al Qaeda, the Financial Times reported on its Web site Saturday.

Citing an unidentified Iranian official, the newspaper said Iran had transferred bin Laden's son to authorities in either Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

The newspaper's report could not be independently verified.

[In Washington, a senior U.S. intelligence official said, "We don't have anything to substantiate this." Because Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are close U.S. allies, the official said, "we would have known about it."]

Iran's vice president, Mohammed Ali Abtahi, reached early today, said he was aware of the report, but "wouldn't confirm it unless credible information is available." Legislator Ali Shakouri-Rad, a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami, said he had no information on the reported capture.

Bin Laden has at least 23 children by several wives. One of the oldest, Saad bin Laden, who is about 22 years old, has emerged as an al Qaeda leader and one of the United States' top two dozen targets in the network. Mohammed and Ahmed bin Laden also support their father's efforts, U.S. officials say.

The official quoted by the Financial Times did not identify the son he said was detained. He reportedly said the man was captured with others suspected of al Qaeda links as they fled Afghanistan.

The paper quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi as saying the group numbered about 250 and that all the suspects had been returned to their home countries. He did not identify any of them.

The anonymous official also was quoted as saying he believed Osama bin Laden was dead. U.S. officials have repeatedly said they do not know if the alleged architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States is dead or alive.

2002 The Washington Post Company

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Son detained iran allegedly captured hundreds { November 3 2002 }
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Us cannot confirm reports
Us disputes report { March 7 2003 }

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