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Osama no longer around: Expert

However, Clive Williams of Macquarie University added it might be impossible to ever prove if Bin Laden was dead.

world Updated: Jan 16, 2006 17:38 IST

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden could be seriously ill or dead, an Australian terrorism expert said on Monday.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio quoted Clive Williams of the Sydney-based Macquarie University as saying that he had seen evidence to support the theory that Bin Laden died of massive organ failure in April last year.

Williams said Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden's deputy, has been making all statements on behalf of Al-Qaeda for around a year. But the expert said it might be impossible to ever prove if Bin Laden was dead.

"It's hard to prove or disprove these things because there hasn't really been anything that allows you to make a judgement one way or the other," he said.

"But it does seem strange that Zawahiri has been making all of the statements since then, and nothing has been heard from Bin Laden since, I think, December of the year before," he said.

"I suppose there's a degree of satisfaction from a counter-terrorism point of view that he's no longer around," he added.

First Published: Jan 16, 2006 17:38 IST