Did as-Sahab Media Get bin-Laden Killed?

Rusty sends along this piece from Laura Mansfield entitled In the end, the messages were Bin Ladenís undoing...

Since the early days after 2001, Al Qaeda leadership has been playing a game of cat and mouse with American forces. Each time a video or audio message was released, analysts examined every frame in the footage carefully, and analyzed the background, the sounds, the foliage, and anything else that might provide a clue as to the location of Bin Laden and his leadership core.

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Every time news broke about some piece of information gleaned from the messages Ė for example, the type of plant, or the call of a specific bird heard in the background Ė Al Qaeda responded in the next video by eliminating these tidbits of information.

For example, in the now-famous 2003-video, Bin Laden and Zawahiri were shown walking through the mountains of Afghanistan.

As the hunt for Bin Laden intensified, Bin Ladenís videos became less and less frequent. When Bin Laden did release a message, in most cases it was a still image from an older video, with the audio played in the background.

Open source media is reporting that the trail for Bin Laden heated up around eight months ago, when a trusted Al Qaeda courier was tracked to the compound where Bin Laden was eventually found.

When you overlay this timeline with the message release timeline, it become apparent that the early October 2010 duo of messages from Bin Laden calling the world to task about their response to the floods in Pakistan were the terror leaderís undoing.

Nine months ago, there was massive flooding in Abbottabad, as can be seen in these YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doUXWLV7HG8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roBNf98WRDg

Bin Laden must have been impacted by the flooding, and was inspired to release those two messages. The audios were likely taped in the Abbottabad compound in August , sent out by courier to the video makers who merged the audio with video, moved probably by a different courier to the video distribution team, and then released to the world on October 1 and 2, 2010. Historically, there has been a lag of three to five weeks from an event referenced in a Bin Laden message and the actual release of the message.

It appears from what has been released in the media that the courier who ferried this audio back for production and then distribution was the one who was tracked to the compound.

I would take this a step further. Laura Mansfield and Jawa Report tracked several of bin-Laden's message releases. At the time I had the impression that the US had penetrated as-Sahab's release process, to the point of almost being ridiculously obvious. as-Sahab took several steps to secure the releases, one was they increased the complexity of passwords for the archives that were uploaded in advance of releases.

This time period corresponds nicely with the reduced number of messages from bin-Laden and al-Zawahiri afterward. Obviously they were concerned.... Its very likely that the courier was identified during the release process of one of these productions.

That said, its sill obviously not all that easy as Zawahiri has done several messages and has not bit the big one......yet.... I expected this at the time but then it never happened so I kind of stopped expecting it.

As Rusty says to as-Sahab all the time. Keep using the internet, its your best hope.

Of course if anyone at as-Sahab can be blamed, we think it should be Azzam al-Ameriki. You know that Adam Gadahn is obviously a spy....

Posted by: Howie at 08:41 PM

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