Intelligence chief criticises US over war on terror

12th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 April 2005, BERLIN - The president of Germany's BND intelligence agency, August Hanning, said the United States made fundamental errors in its war on terror, including the hunt in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks.

12 April 2005

BERLIN - The president of Germany's BND intelligence agency, August Hanning, said the United States made fundamental errors in its war on terror, including the hunt in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks.

In an interview with the German financial daily Handelsblatt to appear on Tuesday, Hanning said the US made "the principal error" in November 2001 in trying to capture bin Laden in the tunnels of the mountainous Tora Bora region of Afghanistan using local militias.

According to Hanning, the wealthy leader of al-Qaeda terrorist network could have secured his freedom by paying off the militiamen.

The United States has insisted that it was not clear whether bin Laden actually was in Tora Bora at the time.

Media reports in March however have corroborated bin Laden's presence in Tora Bora, making reference to reports bearing information gleaned from terrorist suspects held at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Hanning in addition dismissed a warning from the US government that the danger from biological weapons should not be underestimated.

"International experts have not been frightened by the possibility that terrorists could use bio-weapons for terrorism," he said. "There has been no recent concrete indications for such."

DPA

Subject: German news

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