Boy if this is true, there will be some serious timing questioning going on.
PARIS (AP) – The French defense ministry on Saturday called for an internal investigation of the leak of an intelligence document that raises the possibility that Osama bin Laden may have died of typhoid in Pakistan a month ago [the moonbats will love that part -ed] but said the report of the death remained unverified.
“The information defused this morning by the l’Est Republicain newspaper concerning the possible death of Osama bin Laden cannot be confirmed,” a Defense Ministry statement said.
The daily newspaper for the Lorraine region in eastern France printed what it described as a confidential document from the French foreign intelligence service DGSE citing an uncorroborated report from Saudi secret services that the leader of the al-Qaida terror network had died.
The contents of the document, dated Sept. 21, or Thursday, were not confirmed by French or other intelligence sources. However, the DGSE transmitted the note to President Jacques Chirac and other officials, the newspaper said.
Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie “has demanded an investigation be carried out of this leak,” a ministry statement said, adding that transmission of the confidential document could risk punishment.
Defense Ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau, clarifying the statement, said that the DGSE document exists but that its contents – that bin Laden is allegedly dead – cannot be confirmed.
The DGSE, or Direction Generale des Services Exterieurs, indicated that its information came from a single source.
“According to a reliable source, Saudi security services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead,” said the intelligence report.
It’s interesting that France is coming out with this… [insert your own speculation here]
Of course the oblig:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is unable to confirm a French newspaper report that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is believed to have died last month in Pakistan, a U.S. counterterrorism official said on Saturday.
“We cannot confirm the account,” said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue. “It’s quite possible (that) there was some talk of this, but in terms of being able to confirm this, that I can’t do.”
The French regional daily L’Est Republicain reported that, according to a French secret service report, Saudi Arabia was convinced that bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan in late August. The French government has said it could not confirm the report and would investigate the intelligence leak.
The U.S. State Department had no immediate comment and was looking into the reports.
Media reports suggesting that bin Laden was dead, seriously wounded or in ill health have surfaced periodically over the years, especially during lengthy periods of time without taped messages from the al Qaeda leader.
U.S. officials have suggested that his death would be accompanied by a surge of e-mail and telephone chatter among bereaved al Qaeda members, if not an actual announcement from the militant network.
But officials said they were not aware of any such chatter in recent weeks.
I wouldn’t get too excited just yet.