Friday, December 04, 2009

Where in the World is Osama bin Laden, wonders the Pakistani Prime Minister

The Pakistani Prime Minister says Osama, nope, not in my country. Probably dead and gone. Kidney trouble and all that. That's why we're not looking for him here.

Hmmm. Though it is possible Osama is hiding in the Pakistani community in Brooklyn, NY, it is more likely he's in Afghanistan or Pakistan. But US military forces have been conducting rigorous searches for him in Afghanistan. However, the US military is not permitted to conduct ground operations in Pakistan.

If you were a muslim terrorist leader wanted, dead or alive, by the US, where would you hide? In the muslim country where US troops are patrolling and authorized to shoot on sight? Or in Pakistan, the country where Daniel Pearl was beheaded; where much of the population hates the US; where the tribal territories of Waziristan are lawless regions free from the control of the Pakistani government?

Bin Laden Not in Pakistan, Prime Minister Says

LONDON — The Pakistani prime minister, countering demands to intensify the hunt for Osama bin Laden, said Thursday that he did not believe the fugitive leader of Al Qaeda was in Pakistan, as many Western governments and intelligence agencies assert.

The Pakistani official, Yousaf Raza Gilani, spoke at joint news conference with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain just days after Mr. Brown demanded that Afghanistan and Pakistan match plans for increased allied troop levels in Afghanistan by taking tough actions of their own, including a stepped-up effort in Pakistan to capture Mr. bin Laden.

Mr. Gilani and Mr. Brown held talks here Thursday, two days after President Obama announced plans to send 30,000 extra American troops to Afghanistan — a move that rattled nerves across a region spanning the long, mountainous and porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Regarding the new policy of President Obama, we are studying that policy,” Mr. Gilani said. “We need more clarity on it, and when we get more clarity on it we can see what we can implement on that plan.”

He was also asked about Western demands that Pakistan hunt more rigorously for Mr. bin Laden, widely believed in Washington and London to have fled the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime there in late 2001.

“I doubt the information which you are giving is correct because I don’t think Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan,” Mr. Gilani said, echoing similar comments by other Pakistani leaders in recent years who have sometimes hinted that they believe Mr. bin Laden died of renal failure some time after trekking over the 14,000-foot shoulder of the Tora Bora mountains. The Pakistani leader did not indicate where Mr. bin Laden might be if he is not in Pakistan.

Western intelligence officials concluded long ago that the senior Qaeda leaders had taken sanctuary most likely in North or South Waziristan, some 200 miles from Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

“The Pakistan government has started to take on the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South Waziristan,” Mr. Brown said during the weekend, referring to a Pakistani military offensive that has been under way in recent weeks. “But we have to ask ourselves why, eight years after Sept. 11, nobody has been able to spot or detain or get close to Osama bin Laden, nobody has been able to get close to Zawahiri, the No. 2 in Al Qaeda.”

The issue of Mr. bin Laden’s whereabouts has assumed added importance since the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington completed a detailed look back at his escape in December 2001.


Blogger Winfred Mann said...

I'd put my money on Pakistan or one of the other radical countries.

2:02 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

Pakistan -- the country where bin Laden is evidently most welcome.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's in slappz's basement!

6:35 PM  

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