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Taliban: Bin Laden plans Iraq strikes

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(CNN) -- A Taliban military commander says Osama bin Laden helped plan the deadly suicide car bombing outside Bagram Air Base targeting a "very important American official," apparently referring to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Mullah Dadullah was interviewed by the Arab-language network al-Jazeera, which identified the official as Cheney. The network aired the comments on Wednesday, but did not say when the interview was done.

Dadullah said al Qaeda leader bin Laden also is involved in planning attacks in Iraq. He offered no proof for his statements.

The vice president was more than a half mile away from the site of the February attack in Afghanistan, which Afghan police said killed more than 15 people and wounded 20.

Secret Service agents briefly moved Cheney, who was unharmed, to a bomb shelter away from the base. He returned to his room when it was safe to do so. Cheney said he was told the base's main gate had been attacked.

Referring to bin Laden, Dadullah told the Arab-language network al-Jazeera, "Praise be to God he is still alive, and we have information about him and praise be to God he orchestrates plans in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

"You may remember the martyrdom mission in Bagram which targeted a very important American official. No Afghan can reach the Bagram base.

"This operation was a result of his blessed planning. He's the one who planned the details of this operation and guided us and the operation was successful," Dadullah said.

Bagram is about 40 miles (60 kilometers) north of the capital, Kabul.

On March 1, Dadullah told Britain's Channel Four that his forces were poised for a spring offensive against NATO-led coalition troops in Afghanistan, and that he was maintaining a regular line of communication with bin Laden.


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Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah, shown here in a 2006 image, says Osama bin Laden has helped plan attacks in Iraq.

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