Osama bin Laden moved just after attacks against U.S., Pakistani intelligence source says

Thursday, September 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) _ Osama bin Laden, a key suspect in Tuesday's terrorist assault on the United States, changed locations within Afghanistan just minutes after reports of the attacks, a Pakistani intelligence source said Thursday.

Bin Laden would not tell anyone where he was moving, the source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Commanders of the Taliban religious militia that rule most of Afghanistan and give bin Laden refuge say the Saudi millionaire keeps on the move in the Central Asian nation, rarely staying in one place more than two days.

The latest report comes amid fear in Afghanistan that the United States may launch an attack on the country, targeting sites associated with bin Laden.

In August 1998, U.S. destroyers fired 70 cruise missiles at eastern Afghanistan to retaliate for the bombing of two American embassies in East Africa blamed on bin Laden. The death toll in the embassies' bombing was 231 _ 219 Africans and 12 Americans.

Bin Laden escaped that missile assault.

Bin Laden is known to operate several training camps in Afghanistan's Paktia, Kunar, Nangarhar and Kandahar provinces.

It could be hard to find him, however. Afghanistan is crisscrossed by mountain ranges, and provides limitless hide-outs.

Pakistan is one of only three countries to officially recognize Afghanistan's Taliban.