Daniel R. DePetris: The Political Docket

Osama bin-Laden News Update

Posted in Afghanistan/Pakistan/Central Asia by Dan on March 30, 2010

Over the past nine years, U.S. intelligence has been stupefied about Osama bin-Laden’s exact location.  The American public is told that the long-bearded imam is somewhere along the Afghan-Pakistani border, a remote and mountainous area that is virtually impossible to navigate by foot without a full military battalion.  Others believe that he is hiding in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier, the same region that is routinely bombarded by American bombs on a weekly basis.

Well apparently, we have some new information to report.  According to Newsweek’s Declassified, the world’s number one terrorist is not only alive and well, but is also under firm and direct control over Al’Qaeda operations.  And who is the informant providing this info?  None other than a low-level Al’Qaeda foot soldier who has been talking with the FBI for months, Raja Lharsib Khan.  Never mind that Khan is providing the FBI with basic information of questionable validity:

“Contrary to some intelligence reports…bin Laden…continues to be very much in charge of his organization and is personally directing terrorist operations, according to excerpts of the conversation that are recounted in the FBI affidavit.  ‘About bin Laden…he’s perfect, healthy, and he’s leading and he’s giving the orders … he’s OK, he’s in safe hands.”

Personally, I take this new information about Osama bin-Laden with a grain of salt.  First of all, why is the FBI publishing remarks made by a low-level Al’Qaeda fighter?  If Khan actually met bin-Laden several times in a face-to-face capacity, then maybe his comments to FBI interrogators would be more credible.  But as Newsweek’s article makes clear, Khan never graced bin-Laden with his presence.  He is merely relaying a conversation he had with another AQ operative, Ilyas Kashmiri.

Second of all, Khan’s testimony about bin-Laden is total hearsay.  What he is essentially doing is disclosing what another Al’Qaeda member told him in private.  This statement wouldn’t hold up in the most menial of cases, let alone the biggest terrorist manhunt in U.S. history.  Perhaps Kashmiri was lying to Khan during these conservations in order to portray OBL as a man who is still resilient.

Finally, if we look at the attacks that have occurred over the past year, you will see the near absence of bin-Laden and his cohorts.  Incidents of Islamic terrorism over the past year have largely been planned and perpetuated by Al’Qaeda affiliates (like AQ in Yemen and Al’Shabab in Somalia) or by isolated individuals, like Maj. Nadal Hassan in Fort Hood, Texas.  Al’Qaeda ideology and guidance may be used for inspiration, but I would be really surprised if OBL and his inner circle in Pakistan actually had the capacity to order these operations.

If bin-Laden is in total control, then why didn’t he claim credit for the Christmas day bombing of a transatlantic passenger plane?  Easy…Al’Qaeda Central is getting outflanked by its own affiliates.

-Daniel R. DePetris

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**Comments courtesy of Newsweek’s Declassified**

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5 Responses

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  1. chub said, on March 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Why do we keep this man osama bin laden alive? Why do we keep advertising him in the papers?

    He loves all this attention. So why are we even mentioning him? Kind of silly don’t you think?

  2. PhilipDru said, on March 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    So a guy heard from a guy that Bin Laden is alive, healthy and giving orders and this is at the top of the homepage of one of the more popular news/info websites. WHY???– Bin Laden’s been dead for years.

    Al-Quaida has become more of a brand than an actual organization. Random young men pick up a few explosives and proclaim allegiance to “Al-Qaeda” before blowing themselves up and the official reports come back to us as grossly distorted making it seem like it was a tactical, organized move to keep up this ridiculous nonsense about being at war with terror.

  3. fprrtp6@gmail.com said, on March 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    For 50 million dollars I would get a tactical force together and find him…as long as I get the fifth freedom on everybody…

  4. Meeeeeeee said, on March 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I cant believe you people are still talkng about Osama, the man is dead for 9 yrs and that cab driver just want to get his name in the papers he dont really know. America is going to take the word of a CAB DRIVER what a JOKE. Get a life EVIL MEDIA stop listening to cab drivers and go see for yourself.

  5. […] Excerpt from: Osama bin-Laden News Update « Daniel R. DePetris: The Political Docket […]


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