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'Osama called himself a prophet'

A Pak millionaire, held at a US prison, has revealed he had met Laden twice.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 17:45 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

A Pakistani millionaire, held at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, has revealed thathe had met Osama bin Laden twice and that the Al-Qaeda leader had called himself a prophet.

The testimony of Saifullah A Paracha was included in thousands of pages of transcripts released on Friday by the Pentagon because of a successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Associated Press.

The material was also made public in 2005 in court filings by Paracha's lawyer.

Paracha, a New York Institute of Technology graduate, has testified that he owns seven businesses, including a news agency, a construction agency and a manufacturing company in Pakistan and travel agencies in New York, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco.

In 1999, Paracha said, he met bin Laden in Afghanistan. The following year, he returned to Afghanistan to interview bin Laden for his news agency, Universal Broadcast Ltd.

"He delivered the Quran, and said he was a prophet," Paracha said. "He said very nice things, very impressive."

First Published: Mar 05, 2006 16:25 IST