Bin Laden Stays Tuned to CNN

The Australian
reports on a passage from a new book by terrorism expert Peter Bergen in which bin Laden's Pakistani biographer Hamid Mir recalls seeing the terror leader watching CNN.

"When I met him after 9/11, he said: 'I was watching you on the Larry King show a few days ago, and you told Larry King that when Osama bin Laden talks on religion, he is not convincing, but when he talks on politics, he is very much convincing. So today I will convince you on some religious issues.'"

"So I said, 'OK, you watched the Larry King show?'.

"He said, 'Yes, I am fighting a big war, and I have to monitor the activities of my enemy through these TV channels'."

The Australian reports that it was the "CNN pictures of the corpses of US troops being brutally dragged through the streets of Mogadishu"--and the retreat from Somalia ordered by Bill Clinton--that gave bin Laden the idea that the US "did not have the stomach for war."

The book is called "The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader" and features interviews with over 50 people who knew bin Laden.