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Local - Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer - updated 8:54 AM ET Sep 17
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Sunday September 16 08:37 AM EDT U.S. had chances to kill bin Laden, officials say

U.S. had chances to kill bin Laden, officials say

By Mark Bowden , INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

The United States for years has had both the knowledge and capability necessary to kill exiled Saudi militant leader Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) in Afghanistan (news - web sites), but repeatedly declined to act, angry U.S. intelligence officials and military special operations soldiers said last week.

Bin Laden's organization is the chief suspect in the attacks that leveled the World Trade Center towers, destroyed part of the Pentagon (news - web sites), and crashed a hijacked plane in Western Pennsylvania. According to intelligence officials, bin Laden is once again in hiding, having moved his training bases in the days before the attacks. President Bush (news - web sites) has vowed to pursue him and his far-flung network of terrorists if they are definitely linked to last week's attacks.

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