The antiterrorism branch of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is unconvinced when it comes to the death of Osama bin Laden.
"We need proof," Aleksei Kruglov, deputy head of the SCO's Regional Antiterrorism Structure, said this week.
"No one has yet provided any real information about the elimination of bin Laden, Kruglov told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency. "So far it has been just words, which we cannot just blindly believe."
Kruglov's comments came as the SCO, made up of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, prepares for a meeting of its Foreign Ministers' council in Almaty on May 13-14.
Kruglov noted that "there will be no issues related to bin Laden's elimination on the meeting's agenda." Likewise, he predicts that the Al-Qaeda leader's death will not have any effect on the activities of his department. It is "business as usual" for us, Kruglov said.
Kruglov, of course, is not the only official casting doubts over statements that bin Laden was killed on a U.S. raid in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad on May 2.
Iran's intelligence minister, for example, has claimed that Tehran has "accurate information that bin Laden died of illness some time ago."
Speaking on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on May 8, Heidar Moslehi accused the U.S. of releasing "false news" to divert attention from its "fragile" economy and other issues.
It seems the saga of conspiracy theories
regarding bin Laden's death will continue for some time and at all levels.
-- Farangis Najibullah