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Cassius
Feb 16th, 2003, 10:10 PM
Bin Laden Hit Hard By News Of His Own Death

News this week from the FBI's top official for counterterrorism that Osama bin Laden was "probably not with us anymore" has shaken the al Qaeda leader, who had spent the past 10 months believing he was alive.

The late bin Laden however, urged his followers not to jump to conclusions. "The Americans are known for spreading false information to throw us off guard," he said. "This could be another one of their tricks."

Despite that skepticism, however, word of his demise spread quickly through the secret caves along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where the terrorist mastermind has been hiding since dying in Tora Bora in October. While many were surprised and saddened by the revelation, some top aides were angry at their chief for keeping them out of the loop.

"You said you only had a shrapnel wound in the shoulder, and we believed you," said confidante Masir Mousawi. "Now I guess we know the real reason you haven't made a videotape lately."

Other followers were attempting to decide who should take over as leader, and what direction the terrorist network should go in. "I did not have a chance to speak with Osama until after he died," said al Qaeda official Abdul Atwar. "But we have to ask ourselves, what would he have wanted us to do?"

Bin Laden's continual pleas of "You could just ask me," fell on deaf ears.