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 article about Osama bin Laden
2009-09-14 08:55:54

This article belongs to And That's the Way It Is column.

They seek him here, they seek him there, they seek him everywhere but finding Osama Bin Laden seems to be proving to be more difficult than first thought. Not that the difficulties with finding him are an indication as to how good he and other Al Qaeda main decision-makers and operatives might appear to have been in terms of hiding their ever-changing locations, but more as to highlight the incompetence of the various intelligence services.

First of all, Osama Bin Laden is not located in Afghanistan and he may not even be located in Pakistan where most operatives think he might be or might have been.
Comments by one commentator really said it all when he stated that he found it extraordinary that while the Americans were able to put a man on the moon, the CIA on the other hand seemed to be incapable of finding one man hiding under a bush in the more remote regions of Afghanistan.

Why then, am I not surprised?

First of all, Osama Bin Laden is not located in Afghanistan and he may not even be located in Pakistan where most operatives think he might be or might have been. I would suspect that his present location is much further afield, where he has been able to get medical attention and where I suspect he has been hiding with full knowledge of the local population and even perhaps with the knowledge of certain Governments.

Thus while Osama Bin Laden still is a figure-head of terrorism groups and organisations, he is clearly no longer a number one priority on the intelligence services' target list.

In other words, he no longer is the number one Al-Qaeda decision-maker.

Apart from the impotency of intelligence agencies in terms of finding Al-Qaeda operatives, it also seems that some Governments are these days not even interested in finding them, the reason for that being the fact that Al-Qaeda has 'franchished' its activities. Much more lethal these days are the various terrorist groups that are operating along the lines of the Al-Qaeda model but are based within various subject countries.

These groups operate with a local command structure in place but
However, sooner rather than later, Osama Bin Laden will be found, perhaps in his bed or in a box...
some funding for their activities still being obtained through Al-Qaeda channels but I suspect not via or from the Al-Qaeda organisational framework which, as such, no longer exists. The fact of this franchising can clearly be recognised through ways that various recent attacks have taken place but more importantly where they have taken place.

Another factor of intelligence not having been able to find and close down terrorism groups is the fact that some, not all, of these groups have a highly sophisticated communications network that often do not run through the normal channels of mobile phones, internet connections and other easily detected devices. Numerous and various communication systems and methods are being used that are much less prone to detection.

However, sooner rather than later, Osama Bin Laden will be found, perhaps in his bed or in a box, but I would caution anyone thinking that his demise would spell the end of global terrorism. Not by a long shot.

And on that note

My name is Henk Luf.
And that's the way it is.

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