October 30, 2006

Bin Laden Dead? Some More Evidence

Is Osama bin Laden Dead? A recent story by the Globe and Mail suggests just that. Considering today's news that Ayman al Zawahiri might also be dead, I'd say things are looking up. Or at the very least, hope springs something something. Anyway, we can dream, can't we?

As long-time readers know, I've believed for some time now that bin Laden is somewhere in Africa, if still alive. Specifically, the Horn of Africa.

Why Africa? One little appreciated aspect of bin Laden is that he actually believes his own press. By all accounts, there is more than a bit of Sufi mysticism surrounding bin Laden. In fact, many believe the Shiekh has supernatural foretelling powers. No Muslim would not dare call him a prophet, but something like that is how he is viewed.

And it was in Africa where bin Laden first foretold the destruction of the American empire. And it was in Mogadishu that bin Laden first saw his 'prophecies' come to pass. So, why not go back to the source of his original inspiration?

Conjecture, I know. But it makes sense. More sense than Pakistan, in my mind. That is, if he's still alive.

The Globe and Mail via The Moderate Voice:

Sporting his thick, greying beard, a black turban and metal-rimmed glasses, it was the seventh video that Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda founder and right-hand jihadist to Osama bin Laden, has recorded since June, a period during which Mr. bin Laden has made no public statements at all.

That, experts and acquaintances say, likely means something's gone awry inside al-Qaeda. Some speculate the world's second-most wanted man, a pioneer in the use of suicide bombings and martyr videos, has become the group's new No. 1.

The rest of the story is devoted to how Zawahiri hates being in the spotlight, the opposite of Osama bin Laden, and how the dearth of bin Laden and the abundance of Zawahiri videos suggest Ayman is now the man in al Qaeda---hinting that bin Laden is six feet under.

Being out of the spotlight for several years must be worse for Osama bin Laden than if the Hollywood press ignored Paris Hilton. He is a media whore of epic proportions. So, either a) he is too scared to come out of hiding b) he is hiding somewhere where media access is very limited indeed, or c) he is dead.

C has been reported scores of times, most recently in September when bin Laden was said to have died from a 'water born illness'.

A is possible, and would be grand irony indeed. But B would likely rule out Pakistan or Afghanistan given that Zawahiri is said to be somewhere along the border. If both are in the same region, then there is little explanation for why the dearth of information coming from bin Laden.

In any event, it seems that Zawahiri is the man now. If Zawahiri is not dead, that is.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:23 PM | Comments |