Abu Jandal, who was with bin Laden in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2000, has told the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” that his former boss had given strict instructions on what should happen if he was cornered.
“If he was going to be captured, Sheik Osama prefers to be killed,” Jandal said in the CBS interview.
“There was a special gun to be used if Sheik Osama bin Laden was attacked and we were unable to save him, in which case I would have to kill him,” he said.
Jandal, who lives in Yemen, said he believed bin Laden was hiding out in Afghanistan rather than Pakistan and warned that his most recent threats of another terror strike on the United States should be taken extremely seriously.
“When Sheik Osama promises something, he does it,” he said. “So I believe Osama bin Laden is planning a new attack inside the United States, this is certain.”
Bin Laden warning
In an audiotape broadcast by the Al-Jazeera Arabic television network in January, bin Laden warned that attacks on the US “heartland” were being prepared.
Jandal also revealed how sheer good fortune had allowed bin Laden to escape a US missile attack, ordered after the 1998 Al-Qaeda bombings of two US embassies in Africa, on Al-Qaeda training camps near Khost in Afghanistan.
The night before the attack, bin Laden and his entourage were driving when they reached a fork in the road that would take them to Khost or Kabul.
“He turned to us and said, ‘Khost or Kabul?’ We told him, ‘Let’s just visit Kabul.’ Sheik Osama said, ‘Okay, Kabul’.”
He also recalled how the world’s most wanted man had strict rules prohibiting cursing in his presence.
“I remember once I used the wrong word, so he suspended me from guard duty for three days,” Jandal said.