May 16, 2005


Back on Osama's trail (Syed Saleem Shahzad, 5/17/05, Asia Times))

Both Pakistani and US intelligence believe that they are hot on the heels of Osama bin Laden, after his trail went cold months ago.

"Both the US and concerned Pakistani authorities are positive that in the coming days we shall be around Osama bin Laden," a senior Pakistani official told Asia Times Online in an exclusive interview, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The potential breakthrough in the hunt for bin Laden follows the arrest of al-Qaeda operative Abu Faraj al-Libbi in Pakistan last week, and an important lead he divulged during interrogation. Abu Faraj was interrogated by various agencies, including Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, Britain's MI6 and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This is according to the Pakistani official, who was assigned by Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf - the target of two assassination attempts allegedly masterminded by Abu Faraj - to coordinate and oversee investigations involving recent al-Qaeda detainees in Pakistan.

[S]aid the official, "the arrest cannot be down-played as insignificant. During interrogation, al-Libbi pointed [out] Bajur Agency, a tribal area situated in North West Frontier Province, where we found an al-Qaeda sanctuary and arrested many important operatives, including an Uzbe

Doesn't the ease with which we keep nailing their current #3's suggest the possibility that #1 & #2 are dead?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 16, 2005 7:23 AM

Climbing the ladder in Al-Qaeda these days must be about as attractive as a field promotion from Darth Vader.

Posted by: Governor Breck at May 16, 2005 8:00 AM

Not really. It could be like the Tsarist military where 1 out of every 80 soldiers was a general, because every officer who stuck around for 35 years was auotmatically made a general. The Spanish Navy was even more ludicrous.

Posted by: bart at May 16, 2005 8:22 AM

Dead! Ha! W. has them in the jug so they can be brought out just before the midterm elections.

Posted by: H. D. Miller at May 16, 2005 8:30 AM

Well, Admiral Piett didn't make out too badly.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at May 16, 2005 8:36 AM

Maybe it's because the # 3s are field men, while ol' UbL stays back at the ranch.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at May 16, 2005 8:49 AM

Didn't Piett go up with the first Death Star?

Posted by: Governor Breck at May 16, 2005 9:17 AM

No, that was Tarkin.

Piett went down when Vader's Super Star Destroyer collided with the 2nd Death Star.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at May 16, 2005 9:21 AM

Gosh, I hope we didn't hurt al-Libbi or humiliate him. Kennedy would really be upset.

Posted by: Genecis at May 16, 2005 10:21 AM

Maybe we're ignoring OBL to keep the WOT alive.

Posted by: at May 16, 2005 12:24 PM

Zawahiri would do better to just charge up the Capitol steps with a sword in one hand and the Koran in the other. It would be quite a show, especially when he gets shot by the female security officer.

Al-Qaeda should offer the next spot to George Galloway. At least he has money to spend.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 16, 2005 12:26 PM

Anon: We're just not that good.

Posted by: David Cohen at May 16, 2005 7:13 PM