WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. counterterrorism official on Thursday dismissed as absurd al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s threat to execute any Americans in captivity.
“It’s the height of absurdity for anyone associated with al Qaeda to even suggest that now, at long last, they’re going to start treating captives badly,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They may have forgotten Danny Pearl and all the others they’ve slaughtered, but we haven‘t.”
The official was addressing a fresh audiotape from bin Laden in which the al Qaeda leader threatened to execute any Americans taken prisoner by the militant network if accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is put to death by U.S. authorities who intend to put him on trial.
Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Doina Chiacu