Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Source Says Bin Laden Behind New Fighters 400 Soldiers Sent to Help Chechens

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Source Says Bin Laden Behind New Fighters 400 Soldiers Sent to Help Chechens

Article excerpt

HIZARAK, Afghanistan -- Suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden sent 400 Arab fighters to the Russian breakaway republic of Chechnya with explosives and weapons to help the war against Russian forces, a military instructor in his organization says.

Western intelligence sources confirm fighters went to Chechnya from Afghanistan, but cannot say whether they were Arab or Afghan.

Associated Press reporters have seen Afghan and Arab fighters in Chechen bands, but none has confirmed a link to bin Laden.

The disclosure comes at a time when Central Asian governments are sounding increasingly worried about Islamic militancy in their countries, and are blaming the Taliban, the Islamic rulers of Afghanistan where bin Laden's Al-Qaida organization is based.

The military instructor in Al-Qaida, who goes by the nom de guerre of Abu Daoud, also reports that bin Laden is under pressure from the Taliban to curtail his activities, and that bin Laden has said he would rather quit Afghanistan than give up his war against the West. …

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