Who is this Bin Laden fellow I keep hearing about?
The Ongoing Hunt for Osama bin Laden - Newsweek: World News - MSNBC.com
Sept. 3, 2007 issue - The Americans were getting close.
It was early in the winter of 2004-05, and Osama bin Laden and his entourage were holed up in a mountain hideaway along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Suddenly, a sentry, posted several kilometers away, spotted a patrol of U.S. soldiers who seemed to be heading straight for bin Laden's redoubt. The sentry radioed an alert, and word quickly passed among the Qaeda leader's 40-odd bodyguards to prepare to remove "the Sheik," as bin Laden is known to his followers, to a fallback position.
As Sheik Said, a senior Egyptian Qaeda operative, later told the story, the anxiety level was so high that the bodyguards were close to using the code word to kill bin Laden and commit suicide. According to Said, bin Laden had decreed that he would never be captured. "If there's a 99 percent risk of the Sheik's being captured, he told his men that they should all die and martyr him as well," Said told Omar Farooqi, a Taliban liaison officer to Al Qaeda who spoke to a NEWSWEEK reporter in Afghanistan.
The secret word was never given.
As the Qaeda sentry watched the U.S. troops, the patrol started moving in a different direction. Bin Laden's men later concluded that the soldiers had nearly stumbled on their hideout by accident. (One former U.S. intelligence officer told NEWSWEEK that he was aware of official reporting on this incident.)
And so it has gone for six years. American intelligence officials interviewed by NEWSWEEK ruefully agree that the hunt to find bin Laden has been more a game of chance than good or "actionable" intelligence. Since bin Laden slipped away from Tora Bora in December 2001, U.S. intelligence has never had better than a 50-50 certainty about his whereabouts. "There hasn't been a serious lead on Osama bin Laden since early 2002," says Bruce Riedel, who recently retired as a South Asia expert at the CIA. "What we're doing now is shooting in the dark in outer space. The chances of hitting anything are zero."
How can that be? With all its spy satellites and aerial drones, killer commandos and millions in reward money, why can't the world's greatest superpower find a middle-aged, possibly ill, religious fanatic with a medieval mind-set? The short answer, sometimes overlooked, is that good, real-time intelligence about the enemy is hard to come by in any war, and manhunts are almost always difficult, especially if the fugitive can vanish into a remote region with a sympathetic population. (Think how long—five years—it took the FBI to track down Eric Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympic bomber, in the wilds of North Carolina.) That said, the U.S. government has made the job harder than necessary. The Iraq War drained resources from the hunt, and some old bureaucratic bugaboos—turf battles and fear of risk—undermined the effort. The United States can't just barge into Pakistan without upsetting, and possible dooming, President Pervez Musharraf, who seems to lurch between trying to appease his enemies and riling them with heavy-handed repression.
The story of the search for the men known to American spies and soldiers as high-value targets one and two (HVT 1 and HVT 2)—Osama bin Laden and his possibly more dangerous No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri—is a frustrating, at times agonizing, tale of missed opportunities, damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't choices, and outright blunders. It has been related to NEWSWEEK by dozens of American, Pakistani and Afghan military and intelligence officials, as well as a few Qaeda sympathizers like Omar Farooqi. Capturing bin Laden "continues to be a huge priority," says Frances Fragos Townsend, President George W. Bush's chief counterterror adviser. It may be true, as Townsend points out, that Qaeda leaders do not have anything like the safe haven they enjoyed in Afghanistan before 9/11. But it is also true that Al Qaeda has been reconstituting itself in the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that the terrorist organization is determined to stage more 9/11s, and maybe soon. "We have very strong indicators that Al Qaeda is planning to attack the West and is likely to attack, and we are pretty sure about that," says retired Vice Adm. John Redd, chief of the National Counterterrorism Center, which coordinates all U.S. intelligence in the so-called Global War on Terror (GWOT). Hank Crumpton, who ran the CIA's early hunt for bin Laden in 2001-02 as deputy chief of the agency's counterterrorism center and recently retired as the State Department's coordinator of counterterrorism, says, "It's bad; it's going to come.............."
Who is this Bin Laden fellow I keep hearing about?
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
You gotta love it. The great American military can't find one man, but yet we are this great force that thinks we are untouchable. Yeah, whatever.
I think he is living in Miami and looks like a lot of the other little old retired jewish men down there. He's laughing his ass off at us!
You'd think they can find him, since Bush is probably weekly on the phone to him.
When your daughter plays "House," she pretends to be an annoying doctor with a pill-addiction and a limp.
Yeah, a lot of the past 'Bin Laden threatens america' tapes have been proven false by experts
I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.
A big boy did it and ran away.
^^^ YOu just know that this will be a skit on SNL for the opening week. And now a word from our sponsor - cuts to commercial of Bin Laden as the new spokeman for Just for Men!!
Maybe this is why Bush says he cries so much. He can't find Osama. But, then again, you have to actually be looking for somebody to find them.
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