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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Taliban: Bin Laden Under Our Control

WASHINGTON -- The White House quickly rejected the Taliban's conditional offer on Sunday to negotiate the fate of Osama bin Laden, who a Taliban diplomat confirmed was under the ruling militia's control at a secret location in Afghanistan.

"The president has said we're not negotiating," White House chief of staff Andrew Card said. "We've told the Taliban government what they should be doing. They've got to turn not only Osama bin Laden over but all of the operatives of the al-Qaida organization. They've got to stop being a haven where terrorists can train," Card said on "Fox News Sunday."

Meanwhile, Attorney General John Ashcroft offered a chilling reminder about the threat of more terrorism in the United States after the Sept. 11 terror attacks that Washington alleges were orchestrated by bin Laden and the al-Qaida network he built in his safe haven, Afghanistan.

"We believe there are others who may be in the country who would have plans," Ashcroft said on "Face The Nation," a program on the CBS network. "There is a very serious threat of additional problems now."

On Sunday, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, acknowledged that bin Laden "is in Afghanistan."

It was first time since the attacks that a Taliban official had publicly admitted that bin Laden was under the control of the puritanical Islamic rulers of Afghanistan.

"He is under our control. Wherever he is, he's in a secret place but that doesn't mean that he is out of the control of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He's in a place which cannot be located by anyone," Zaeef said.

Zaeef said the Taliban are willing to negotiate with Washington if it provides evidence bin Laden was involved in the attacks.

"We will respect their negotiations and that might change things. If they attack without any evidence or unless this case goes through the proper court process, any attack will be a terrorist attack," he said.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he questions anything the Taliban says. Last week, the Taliban first claimed bin Laden was missing, and then later said they had delivered a message to him from the Afghan clergy asking him to leave the country voluntarily.

"It was just a few days ago that they said they didn't know where he was," Rumsfeld told NBC's "Meet the Press." "So I have no reason to believe anything a Taliban representative would say."

President George W. Bush has warned that the Taliban must turn over bin Laden unconditionally and without negotiation or face military retaliation after the attacks that killed thousands, toppled the twin World Trade Center towers and damaged the Pentagon.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he has seen "absolutely powerful and incontrovertible evidence" linking bin Laden to the attacks.

"In the end the important thing is that we get him and stop him, and that is something that we'll pursue in whatever way we can," Blair told the British Broadcasting Corp.'s "Breakfast with Frost" program.