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Dharam Shourie in New York
Former US president Bill Clinton has said that international terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden had planned to kill him and had special hitmen trained to carry out the task.
"He was training people to kill me, which is fair enough -- I was trying to get him," Clinton told Newsweek magazine in an interview due on stands on Monday.
He says he tried repeatedly to kill bin Laden and recounts a tough decision in the fall of 2000 when the US received intelligence about his possible whereabouts.
"But there were very large number of women and children in that compound and it's almost like he (bin Laden) was daring me to kill them."
Clinton considered the option of a commando raid but "the closest we could get was about 1400 km away on a boat, since we didn't have any basing rights then, and we didn't
have anything like the international support that existed following September 11."
On President George W Bush's 'war on terrorism', Clinton says he supports it and does not believe that the events of September 11 would overshadow his presidency. He was, however, critical of his successor's approach towards North Korea.
"We ended their nuclear programme in 1994 and we nearly came to blows. It was about as close as we came to an all out war when I was president. But I knew I couldn't afford to let North Korea develop nuclear weapons," he adds.
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