Bin Laden Alive, Active Says Algerian Group

Although he has not been seen or heard since last July, a militant Islamist group in Algeria says Osama bin Laden gave formal approval this week for the group to change its name. 

In a statement issued by the Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), the group -- now known as "Al Qaeda Organization in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb"-- says it had to await bin Laden's personal review for the name change and has now received it.

Members of jihadi forums have noted that the new statement shows bin Laden is alive and well.


One posting, entitled "News About Sheikh Osama," points out that bin Laden's alleged response to the group is proof that he was supervising matters. "Thanks be to God for the good news. We await to hear your voice," said the posting.

The last statement by bin Laden was an audio issued on July 1, 2006. In a recent statement, al Qaeda's No. 2 Ayman al Zawahri indicated he was in touch with bin Laden.

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In an interview with al Arabiya channel on Wednesday, however, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf claimed there were reports that bin Laden and al Zawahri "have developed differences and are operating separately now."

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