- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2001

BRUSSELS — The European Union's chief anti-terrorism officer cast doubt yesterday on claims that Osama bin Laden was solely responsible for Tuesday's attacks in New York and Washington.
Jurgen Storbeck, the director of Europol, cautioned against jumping to conclusions before the mass of evidence had been properly sifted.
In an interview, he said: "Bin Laden is not the automatic leader of every terrorist act carried out in the name of Islam. It's possible that he was informed about the operation; it's even possible that he influenced it; but he's probably not the man who steered every action or controlled the detailed plan.
"As for the idea that, sitting in Afghanistan, he could have controlled the last phase of the operation is something we should not accept without a lot of doubt."
Mr. Storbeck said German police, immigration and customs services were playing the key role. This suggests that German authorities may have found evidence pointing in a different direction. He said Europol was giving serious consideration to claims that some form of state sponsorship was involved, but said there was no hard evidence to date.

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