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|August 28, 2000||
Taleban reject Bin Laden link to nuke plot
Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement on Monday rejected speculation that Saudi-born dissident, Osama bin Laden was plotting to blow up Australia's only nuclear reactor during the Olympic Games. "The Islamic Emirate decisively rejects this hollow and far from reality news and considers it as part of a vast plan by the enemies of the Emirate...," a Taleban foreign ministry statement said.
"Certainly, running such vague, hollow and false propaganda and without any reason indicates that they want to use Osama's presence in Afghanistan as a means," it added.
New Zealand police were probing an immigration racket involving Afghan refugees when they stumbled on plans which appeared to point to an attack on Sydney's Lucas Heights research nuclear reactor during next month's Olympics.
A group of Afghan refugees was found to have set up what police described as a command centre in a house, complete with a Sydney street map but no terrorism-linked arrests were made.
The New Zealand Herald newspaper speculated that the plot was linked to bin Laden, who is suspected by the United States of masterminding the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed more than 200 people from Afghanistan.
The United Nations imposed aviation and financial sanctions on the Taleban in November for their refusal to hand over bin Laden for trial to the United States.
The Taleban, who seek to make Afghanistan the world's purist Islamic state, say bin Laden is innocent.
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