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Bin Laden 'met CIA agent before terror attacks'

A French newspaper claims a US intelligence agent met Osama bin Laden in a Gulf hospital two months before the terror attacks on New York.

Le Figaro said the meeting took place between July 4 and 14, while bin Laden was being treated for a serious kidney ailment at the American Hospital in Dubai.

During his stay at the hospital, bin Laden was visited by members of his family and the local representative of the CIA, said Le Figaro.

The newspaper claims the CIA agent later boasted to several friends that he had visited the Saudi terror mastermind who at that time was wanted for the bombings of US embassies in Africa and the attack on the destroyer Cole in Yemen.

In Dubai, he was reportedly treated by Dr Terry Callahan, a specialist in kidney ailments and male infertility.

He refused to comment.

The American Hospital in Dubai denies that bin Laden had ever been a patient.

Several sources had reported that bin Laden had a serious kidney infection. He had a mobile dialysis machine sent to his Kandahar hideout in Afghanistan in the first half of 2000, according to "authoritative sources" quoted by Le Figaro and French radio.

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