Senator Bill Nelson

Sen. Nelson says bin Laden will be captured within a year

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090408/ARTICLE/904081043/-1/NEWSSITEMAP

By Jeremy Wallace

Published: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 8:42 p.m.

BRADENTON - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson predicted Tuesday that the seven-year hunt for terrorism mastermind Osama bin Laden is nearly over.

"Within a year, we will have bin Laden," Nelson declared in a speech to about 200 people at a Manatee Chamber of Commerce event.

Nelson's prediction was surprising because it contradicted recent statements by the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who suggested it could be years before bin Laden is captured. Just three weeks ago, Gates likened the search to the FBI's 17-year hunt for convicted Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski.

It is unclear on what Nelson based his assertion.

Nelson left the area shortly after his speech.

Repeated requests by the Herald-Tribune to interview the senator were unsuccessful, with Nelson failing to return phone messages.