Russia assists the USA in the search for the founder of al-Qaeda terrorist network Osama bin Laden, Anatoly Safonov, the envoy of the Russian president for international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism said Thursday.
“I know for certain that we assisted and will continue to assist the United States in the search and capture of Osama bin Laden,” the official said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The USA’s previous President George W. Bush swore two weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that Bin Laden would be captured either dead or alive. The Americans have not succeeded at this point yet in spite of the fact that Washington raised the reward for his head to $27 million, Itar-Tass reports.
As for the USA’s assistance to Russia, Anatoly Safonov stated that US intelligence services “provided Russia with information about imminent terrorist acts on several occasions.”
Safonov chairs the Russian delegation at the meeting of the workgroup for the anti-terrorist struggle in Washington. The group was established in 2000. The US side is chaired by Daniel Benjamin, the coordinator for counterterrorism at the Department of State.
The US-Russian committee will also discuss the question about the possible inclusion of Doku Umarov’s extremist group on the USA’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. US special services believe that Umarov’s terrorists organized the bombings of the Moscow metro in March of this year. The adequate resolution has been submitted to the US Congress. The resolution says that the terrorists operating in the Caucasus, the al-Qaeda network and other international terrorist organizations cooperate with each other in terms of personnel training, finance and propaganda.
Daniel Benjamin said that the USA decisively condemned the attacks in the Moscow subway, but added that he could not publicly comment the internal procedure to blacklist certain extremist organizations.
Anatoly Safonov said that Russia and the United States terminated the funding of terrorist activities by international and US organizations.
The USA continues to investigate the case about the funding of terrorist activities by several international and US financial structures, Safonov said. The activities pose serious danger to both Russia and the USA, the official added but did not clarify any details on the matter.
Safonov gave another example of successful cooperation between Russian and US special services in the field of the struggle against the trafficking of radioactive materials.
“American special services received a container of plutonium from their Turkish and Bulgarian partners. The container was seized somewhere on the border. US specialists conducted the isotope analysis of the material but could not identify the origin of plutonium. Russia offered its services to help the specialists solve the problem,” Safonov said.
“We even had to alter some legal regulations in connection with the need to transport the isotope. We had to solve many absolutely new technical problems and we solved them all,” the Russian official said.