Quoting an unnamed Taliban official, the Pakistan Observer reported that Bin Laden died of untreated lung complications and was buried in an unmarked grave in Tora Bora on December 15. This report was picked up by Fox News in the United States on December 26. Also on December 26, the Egyptian newspaper AlWafd - Daily carried a short obituary by a prominent official of the Afghan Taliban, who was allegedly present at the funeral, stating Bin Laden had been buried on or about December 13:
"(Osama bin Laden) suffered serious complications and died a natural, quiet death. He was buried in Tora Bora, a funeral attended by 30 Al Qaeda fighters, close members of his family and friends from the Taliban. By the Wahhabi tradition, no mark was left on the grave"
A videotape was released on December 27 showing a gaunt, unwell Bin Laden, prompting an unnamed White House aide to comment that it could have been made shortly before his death. On CNN, Dr Sanjay Gupta commented that Bin Laden's left arm never moved during the video, suggesting a recent stroke and possibly a symptom of kidney failure. According to Pakistani President Musharraf, Bin Laden required two dialysis machines, which also suggests kidney failure. "I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a... kidney patient," Musharraf said. If Bin Laden suffered kidney failure, he would require a sterile environment, electricity, and continuous attention by a team of specialists, Gupta said. In April 2002, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated, "We have heard neither hide nor hair of him since, oh, about December in terms of anything hard....We are pretty sure he is either alive or dead." FBI Counterterrorism chief Dale Watson and President Karzai of Afghanistan also expressed the opinion that Bin Laden probably died at this time.
The Sydney Morning Herald stated "Dr Clive Williams, director of terrorism studies at the Australian National University, says documents provided by an Indian colleague suggested bin Laden died of massive organ failure in April last year … 'It's hard to prove or disprove these things because there hasn't really been anything that allows you to make a judgment one way or the other,' Dr. Williams said."
Late 2005 CIA disbands "Alec Station", unit dedicated to Bin Laden.
On 23 September 2006, the French newspaper L'Est Républicain quoted a report from the French secret service (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure, DGSE) stating that Osama bin Laden had died in Pakistan on 23 August 2006, after contracting a case of typhoid fever that paralyzed his lower limbs. According to the newspaper, Saudi security services first heard of bin Laden's alleged death on 4 September 2006. The alleged death was reported by the Saudi Arabian secret service to its government, which reported it to the French secret service. The French defense minister Michèle Alliot-Marie expressed her regret that the report had been published while French President Jacques Chirac declared that bin Laden's death had not been confirmed. American authorities also cannot confirm reports of bin Laden's death, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying only, "No comment, and no knowledge." Later, CNN's Nic Robertson said that he had received confirmation from an anonymous Saudi source that the Saudi intelligence community has known for a while that bin Laden has a water-borne illness, but that he had heard no reports that it was specifically typhoid or that he had died.
In an interview with political interviewer David Frost taken on 2 November 2007, the Pakistani politician and Pakistan Peoples Party chairwoman Benazir Bhutto claimed that bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh. During her answer to a question pertaining to the identities of those who had previously attempted her own assassination, Bhutto named Sheikh as a possible suspect while referring to him as "the man who murdered Osama bin Laden." Despite the weight of such a statement, neither Bhutto nor Frost attempted to clarify it during the remainder of the interview. Omar Chatriwala, a journalist for Al Jazeera English, claims that he chose not to pursue the story at the time because he believes Bhutto misspoke, meaning to say Sheikh murdered Daniel Pearl and not Osama Bin Laden. The BBC drew criticism when it rebroadcast the Frost/Bhutto interview on its website, but edited out Bhutto's statement regarding Osama Bin Laden. Later the BBC apologized and replaced the edited version with the complete interview. In October 2007, Bhutto stated in an interview that she would cooperate with the American military in targeting Osama bin Laden.
In an essay published in The American Spectator in March 2009, international relations professor Angelo Codevilla of Boston University argued that Osama bin Laden had been dead for many years.
An article in the conservative Daily Mail points out that the theory that Bin Laden died in 2001 "is gaining credence among political commentators, respected academics and even terror experts" and notes that the mounting evidence that supports the claim makes the theory "worthy of examination".
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