- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Bin Laden, henchman reported in Pakistan
Protected on border by locals, CNN says
The mystery surrounding Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts may finally be solved.
The al Qaeda leader and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, are living comfortably in homes in northwest Pakistan under the protection of locals and members of Pakistan’s intelligence services, according to a CNN report.
“Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave,” an unidentified NATO official told the network.
The official said bin Laden likely has moved in recent years to an area ranging from the mountains of Chitral near the Chinese border to the Kurram Valley near Tora Bora in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services Monday issued a warning that Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is plotting attacks in Europe, especially in France.
The U.S. issued travel alerts for Europe earlier this month.
U.S. officials say they think bin Laden and al-Zawahri are living in the rugged and lawless tribal belt that straddles the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
There is no evidence, however, to corroborate claims that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency is providing shelter to the two fugitives.
A Pakistani official on Monday denied that bin Laden or al-Zawahri are living in Pakistan.
“I categorically deny the report about the presence of Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahri or even Mullah Omar in Pakistan,” Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters, referring to the spiritual leader of the Taliban.
“Bin Laden … and all other terrorists are anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan and hired assassins. If we have any information, we will take action against them,” he said.
The ISI has a history of links to militant groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including al Qaeda and the Taliban. However, Western officials and analysts say it is very hard to determine whether these ties still exist.
Jeffrey Dressler, a research analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, says former ISI agents and “current elements within the Pakistani security establishment” may still be supporting the terrorists. He said there is no evidence to show that the retired agents are being run by those still in the ISI.
“Perhaps one of the advantages of having retired agents do this sort of thing is that it does have a certain plausible deniability,” Mr. Dressler said.
In August, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, said bin Laden was “far buried” in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- U.S. teacher shot dead in Benghazi after al Qaeda call for violence
- Syria nightmare: Fresh fears about al Qaeda fighters there returning home as sleeper terrorists
- Iran official: Sanctions 'utterly failed' to stop nuclear program
- China accuses Japan of raising tensions over new air defense zone
- Joe Biden meets Xi Jinping in China to try to defuse tensions on air defense zone
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow