French Want Probe Into Bin Laden Leak

beatrice herhandez and daughter marylin, nine months, whom the ex-stripper claims was fahtered by Miami priest Father David Deubben
CBS
French President Jacques Chirac said Saturday that information contained in a leaked intelligence document raising the possibility that Osama bin Laden may have died of typhoid in Pakistan last month is "in no way whatsoever confirmed."

Chirac said he was "a bit surprised" at the leak and has asked Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie to investigate how a document from a French foreign intelligence service was published in the French press.

The regional newspaper L'Est Republicain on Saturday printed what it described as a copy of a confidential document from the DGSE intelligence service citing an uncorroborated report from a "usually reliable source" saying that Saudi secret services are convinced the leader of the al Qaeda terror network had died.

The DGSE sent the document, dated Sept. 21 or Thursday, to Chirac and other top French officials, the newspaper said.

"This information is in no way whatsoever confirmed," Chirac said Saturday when asked about the document. "I have no comment."

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Officials from Afghanistan to Washington expressed doubts about the report and a Saudi Interior Ministry official refused comment.

"We have no response to the question of whether bin Laden is dead or alive," the Interior Ministry official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A senior White house official says of the information, "I wouldn't hold your breath," reports CBS News White House correspondent Jim Axelrod.

A senior official in Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry said he is "very skeptical of the truthfulness" of the document, noting past false reports of the death of bin Laden. He was not authorized to address the issue and asked that his name not be used.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tasnim Aslam, called the information "speculative," saying that Pakistan like other countries was "clueless about him."