Where’s Osama?

The head of German military intelligence believes that Osama bin Laden is alive and hiding in the mountainous Afghan/Pakistani border regions. It’s quite possible that Osama is still alive, but the fact that he has not attempted to make any communications with al-Qaeda in the last seven months would seem to indicate that bin Laden, if alive, is somehow restricted in communicating with the outside world.

One possibility that comes to mind is that Osama was indeed seriously injured in the attacks againt al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. If Osama were seriously disfigured or burned by an American attack, it might explain why he’s not made any more statements since December. It could also be that his rumored kidney problems have left him unable to command al-Qaeda.

Whatever the reason, bin Laden isn’t the priority anymore. His ability to be an effective terrorist leader has fizzled out – he can’t travel freely, he can’t communicate, and he can’t strike back against the US in any substantive way, at least not so far.

As the President has said, the real targets need to be those in al-Qaeda who are still active and capable of committing further acts of terrorism. If we can keep al-Qaeda on the defensive and ensure that they’re unable to strike against US interests, then the war on terror will have been won, with or without the severed head of bin Laden on the Capitol Mall.

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