The leadership of the Russian Defence Ministry does not have the data that the Al-Qaida terrorist group, headed by Osama bin Laden, possesses nuclear armaments and other mass destruction weapons," said Colonel General Igor Valynkin, the head of the Twelfth Main Department of the Defence Ministry. This department is in charge of storing and servicing all nuclear ammunition of the Armed Forces of Russia. The general said that Osama bin Laden's assertions in his recent interview, given to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, that the Taliban has such weapons were "an absolute nonsense." "Bin Laden does not have, nor can he have, nuclear weapons of either Soviet, or Russian, or foreign production," pointed out the general. At the same time he did not exclude the possiblity of obtaining such weapons by the Taliban from Pakistan. "Bin Laden maintains contacts with the secret services of Pakistan, the country which possesses nuclear weapons. For this reason we should not exclude such a variant of developments, that is, the possibility of bin Laden receiving nuclear weapons from Pakistan," said Colonel General Igor Valynkin.
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