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Britain Has Bin Laden Evidence

August 23, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ Britain said Sunday it has evidence that renegade Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden was responsible for bombing U.S. embassies in east Africa and shares the Clinton administration’s belief that he is planning further attacks.

Defending Thursday’s retaliatory U.S. missile strikes, including one on an alleged chemical weapons factory in Sudan, Defense Secretary George Robertson said Britain also believes that bin Laden and his terrorist group are trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

″We have independent evidence ourselves that bin Laden and others were seeking to acquire chemical and biological weapons in order to prosecute the kind of campaign that we know they were involved in,″ Robertson said in an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

He did not cite his sources.

″To many people, as we have seen in Iraq, it is not easy to distinguish between an ordinary chemical or pharmaceutical plant and the elements that are required to produce the precursor chemicals that can make up the toxins that can be used against civil populations,″ Robertson said.

″But the Americans have that convincing evidence and that led them to make the attack that they did.″

″They also had the same evidence that we had independently acquired that bin Laden was involved in the east African bomb atrocities and that he had plans for more such atrocities.″

Britain’s embassy in Khartoum was attacked Saturday by around 500 people protesting the U.S. missile attack on the factory in the Sudanese capital.

U.S. forces on Thursday also attacked suspected terrorist camps in Afghanistan in retaliation for twin bombings Aug. 7 in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

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