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Osama bin Laden and the World Trade Center   |   Hamas and the World Trade Center   |   President Bush, Colin Powell, and the  Missing Possessive Pronouns   |   Congressman Gary Condit's Interview
Hamas and the World Trade Center

Abdulaziz Rantisi, the leader of the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas, was quoted as "denying" his organization's links with Osama Bin Laden, the terrorist suspected of masterminding the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center: "If we had any contacts with bin Laden, everyone would know about them by now, because there are no secrets in the world any more."  ["Hamas Says It Only Targets Israel, Not U.S." - Reuters, September 15, 2001]

Question:  Did he say no?  No, he didn't (at least, not by the quotation given in the article).  And if the subject didn't deny it, we cannot deny it for him.

Moreover, in his sentence we find the sentence, "…we had contacts with Bin Laden…"  Listening to people "verbally" (=with no punctuation, no intonation) means that if the suspect says "I did it" regardless of the context, it is quite likely that the suspect, in fact, did it.  For example, if we would ask the suspect, "Did you kill X?" and the suspect would answer, "Are you crazy?  Do you really believe that I killed X?" that means that it is quite likely that the suspect did it.

In this present case, the sentence "..we had contacts…" entered the subject's language,  making it very likely that Hamas did have contacts with Bin Laden.