Report: We Almost Got Zombie bin Laden?

This MSNBC report claims in its headline, "Bin Laden may have just escaped U.S. forces." The only problem? Read the actual story:

One of the officials interviewed by NBC News, a general officer, admitted Tuesday that it was “possible” Bin Laden was at Tora Bora, saying, in fact, "I still don’t know if he was there."
The rest of the article goes on to detail why some in intel thought it was bin Laden, others Zawahiri. The size and make up of the security detail being the key factor in favor of bin Laden.

Color me skeptical. I'll have to disagree with my friends over at WarIntel.

Bin Laden, very unlikey. Zawahiri, maybe. Abu-Yahya Al Libi , bingo.

From what we know from OSINT on al Libi, he is the real military commander of al Qaeda these days. In fact, he's probably the only top al Qaeda leader actually involved in day-to-day operations planning. He's also seen on several videos surrounded by a "posse" of mujahideen, who I gather are his body guards.

So, if a senior commander surrounded by foreign body guards was going to cross the border in to Pakistan to coordinate with regional commanders, my best guess would be that it was al Libi, and not Zawahiri.

This doesn't rule out the possibility that it was Zawahiri, or even bin Laden. There's no reason to think Zawahiri is surrounded by more bodyguards these days then he used to be--especially if bin Laden is dead or no longer in the region.

Posted by: Rusty at 09:27 AM

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