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As early as March, 2000, 'Asia Week,' published in Hong Kong, expressed concern for bin Laden's health, describing a serious medical problem that could put his life in danger because of "a kidney infection that is propagating itself to the liver and requires specialized treatment According to authorized sources, bin Laden had mobile dialysis equipment shipped to his hideout in Kandahar in the first part of 2000”
“During Yusufzai's late-night conversation with bin Laden, the man the U.S. calls Public Enemy Number One appeared to be in good health, though he admitted to a sore throat and a bad back. He continually sipped water from a cup, and Yusufzai caught him on videotape walking with the aid of a stick “
A journalist who visited bin Laden's camp in the 1990s reported camp members saying that bin Laden had a kidney problem requiring him to drink large amounts of water. The journalist witnessed bin Laden constantly sipping water and green tea in the time they spent together
“My kidneys are all right. I did not go to Dubai last year..... All this is false.”
In December 2004, when Gen. Musharraf again sat down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, he all but reversed himself. No medical report has been produced that shows bin Laden is on dialysis. No reporter who has actually met bin Laden has seen the archterrorist hooked up to a dialysis machine or heard him talk about it. Robert Fisk, the only Western journalist to interview bin Laden three times, makes no mention of dialysis.
Peter Bergen led a CNN team into Afghanistan to interview bin Laden in 1997. Bin Laden appeared healthy and strong; neither the reporters nor bin Laden mentioned dialysis or kidney trouble. Even bin Laden’s longtime associates dispute the kidney ailment meme. Saudi newspaper editor Khaled Batarfi has known bin Laden for two decades, ever since the two were neighbors in the Saudi port city of Jeddah. He told the Sunday Tasmanian, an Australian newspaper, that bin Laden “does not suffer from kidney disease.”
Foreign government officials who have met bin Laden also insist that he has no problems with his kidneys. Bin Laden lived in Sudan from 1991 to May 1996. I interviewed political leaders and intelligence officials there who knew him. Gutbi al-Mahdi, Sudan’s former intelligence chief, told me bin Laden had no health problems during his time in Sudan. In fact, every Sudanese I spoke with denied that bin Laden had any health problems, let alone a kidney ailment requiring dialysis.
Dr. Amer Aziz, a British citizen born in Pakistan, was interrogated by eight CIA and FBI agents, as well as by Pakistani intelligence officers. Strongly sympathetic to radical Islam, Aziz had treated bin Laden for years. He reportedly admitted to visiting bin Laden after the September 11 attacks. Upon his release, he talked freely to Paul Haven of the Associated Press in November 2002. The doctor said he had given bin Laden a “complete physical” in 1999 and treated him for back injuries after bin Laden was thrown from a horse. “His kidneys were fine,” the doctor told Mr. Haven. He said “If you’re on dialysis, you have a special look. I didn’t see any of that,” and added that bin Laden “was walking. He was healthy.” Aziz was emphatic: “I did not see any evidence of kidney disease; I didn’t see any evidence of dialysis.” Aziz later discussed the dialysis issue with the New York Times. “When I hear these reports, I laugh
Osama Bin Laden wasn't on kidney dialysis - but he did need an herbal impotence drug
Bin Laden's Medicine Cabinet - soldiers found sunflower oil, eye drops, antiseptic nasal spray, petroleum jelly, and olive oil. When asked whether its contents may point to any health problem, Katzman said "I don't think so. I have.. any person who appears in this show.. has these things in their medicine cabinet." He was fairly sure that the contents of the medicine cabinet do not tell us anything about his state of health.
Two senior U.S. officials who have seen the bin Laden material note that it puts to rest the rumor that the al-Qaida leader needs dialysis for a kidney disorder.
Despite the fact that we have all been hearing about his kidney problems and the need for dialysis, according to the intelligence people I've talked to in Washington, there was no evidence of a dialysis machine in the compound where he was found," said Mary Anne Weaver, author of "Pakistan: Deep Inside the World's Most Frightening State."
"Had he been in dialysis, it's possible they could have caught him earlier," said Kenneth Katzman, a Congressional Research Service expert on Afghanistan. "He would have needed equipment and changes of parts."