The World Tribune is reporting that Osama did die at Tora Bora, but al-Qaeda has regrouped. Unless al-Qaeda produces a video that clearly shows Osama alive and can be tied to a specific date past December 10, 2001, the most likely scenario is that the al-Qaeda leader was killed in the US bombing raids on Tora Bora.
But just because Osama is dead does not mean that al-Qaeda should be discounted. The attack on the French oil tanker, the Bali nightclub bombings, and the shooting of US Marines in Kuwait show that al-Qaeda is still capable of pulling off some devastating small-scale operations.
The best way of removing the threat of al-Qaeda is by removing the sources of logistical support that keep it functioning. That means eliminating or arresting the paymaster that help fund Qaeda operations, that means using every means of intelligence to disrupt operations planning, and that means removing regimes that provide aid and assistance to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, including Iraq.
Al-Qaeda is weakened from what it was just over a year ago, but that doesn’t mean the job must end there. As President Bush said all along, this is bigger than just revenge on Osama bin Laden. This is a war in which the entire infrastructure of terror must finally and decisively be eliminated before these groups can strike again.