A SPIRITUALIST’S claim she knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding in Afghanistan was not taken seriously when she made it eight years ago.

But now Angela Bayley says her prediction, exclusively reported in News Shopper in 2001, has been proved true in a US Senate report.

She said: “I didn’t expect it to be confirmed. If it had been confirmed at the time I would have been taken more seriously.”

Miss Bayley added eight years of fear, dogma and terrorist attacks could have been prevented if she had been listened to.

In the first and only time she has entered the world of predicting major events, the Hither Green resident claimed al-Qaeda boss bin Laden was planning to flee across the border to Pakistan as soon as possible.

She also said the world’s most wanted man was injured to the time and had nearly been killed in attacks by American aircraft, which had forced him to move.

The Senate report released last month revealed US forces had bin Laden “within their grasp” in Afghanistan in 2001 and stated “bin Laden expected to die”.

It also stated: “On or around December 16, two days after writing his will, bin Laden and an entourage of bodyguards walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan’s unregulated tribal area.”

Miss Bayley spoke out eight years ago after being guided by spirits after holding a newspaper cutting from September 11, 1974, which had been found hidden in a kitchen wall at a home in Mottingham.

The Daily Express story cutting, headlined This is America, referred to pilots, New York and “nuts”.

Miss Bayley dangled an Islamic charm over a map of Afghanistan to find bin Laden and felt a strong pull to Waza Khwa, in the south-east of the country.

She said: “I was only doing my work. I was a channel for the spirits like a telephone, the spirits never get it wrong.”

Miss Bayley also believes the eight years it has taken for her prediction to be proved true is no coincidence.

The 50-year-old said: “Eight is a powerful number in spirituality because it is never ending. Eight is the symbol of infinity and truth is infinite.”

Although Miss Bayley did not get bin Laden’s exact location in Afghanistan correct at the time, she says the terror chief was constantly moving across the country to avoid being caught.

Miss Bayley said: “He was spotted 50 miles from where I thought he was two days after I made the prediction. I was told he was seen on a motorbike but I’m not sure if it’s true.”

The decision not to deploy more American forces to go after bin Laden or block his escape was made by Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and his top commander, General Tommy Franks.

Mr Rumsfeld said at the time he was concerned too many US troops in Afghanistan would create an anti-American backlash and fuel a widespread insurgency.

Miss Bayley, who has been a spiritualist healer for 16 years, said: “I don’t believe they want to find him because the longer it is they can’t find him, the more they can blame on him.

“They have wasted billions of pounds and dollars on a war no-one wants. They are never going to find him and they know it.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We cannot comment on the matter at all.”