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Attack of the bin Laden clones!

Pakistan’s the Nation newspaper brings us a major development in the bin Laden case: The US operation that allegedly killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has actually led to the death of a clone of the Al-Qaeda leader, working under CIA operative Raymond Davis, an American editor says. “The real bin Laden died years ago ...

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Pakistan's the Nation newspaper brings us a major development in the bin Laden case:

The US operation that allegedly killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has actually led to the death of a clone of the Al-Qaeda leader, working under CIA operative Raymond Davis, an American editor says.

"The real bin Laden died years ago after receiving treatment in American hospitals for his various illnesses," said Gordon Duff, senior editor of Ohio-based Veterans Today, in an interview with Press TV's US Desk.

Pakistan’s the Nation newspaper brings us a major development in the bin Laden case:

The US operation that allegedly killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has actually led to the death of a clone of the Al-Qaeda leader, working under CIA operative Raymond Davis, an American editor says.

“The real bin Laden died years ago after receiving treatment in American hospitals for his various illnesses,” said Gordon Duff, senior editor of Ohio-based Veterans Today, in an interview with Press TV’s US Desk.

“His [bin Laden] body was frozen and kept in storage for a date when it would be of advantage to the United States to use it for maximum advantage,” Duff wrote in an article titled ‘Was Raymond Davis CIA’s Bin Laden Handler?’

According to the US intelligence community, bin Laden’s body was recovered in 2001 by American Special Forces in Afghanistan, Duff says. “The CIA maintained a safe house at Abbottabad [where it] kept agents right next to the compound that ‘bin Laden’ was allegedly [killed] at,” Duff said.

To be perfectly fair, looking at Gordon Duff’s original article, it doesn’t appear that he meant “clones” literally, more like lookalikes in the Saddam sense — but it’s still nice to see American nuttiness and Pakistani paranoia coming together in perfect harmony. (Duff also speculates that the bin Laden “hit” was timed to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.)

One thing I’ve never quite understood about purveyors of conspiracy theories is that they often don’t seem particularly taken aback by their own theories. If I believed that something like this was true, I would scream it from the rooftops or at least feature it prominently on my website. The Nation apparently felt Duff’s theory was worth printing, but not worthy of the front page. We’re talking about frozen bin Laden here!

Even Duff is featuring the bin Laden story pretty low on his page below a conspiracy theory about the Strauss-Kahn arrest and, bizarrely, a guide for first-time travelers to Europe. Frozen bin Laden? That’s a scoop! I’m appalled not so much by the theory as the editorial judgment.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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