There are rumours coming in from Far Western Nepal that Osama Bin Ladin had once taken shelter in Daduldhura district. He was in disguise as a Hindu sage with beards and cloak.
The rumour has it that Osama had returned to
Was Osama Bin Laden In
Osama Bin Laden surprised everyone in late 1990s when he escaped from the Gulf to hide at an unexpected place:
Osama bin Laden’s disappearance since late 2001 despite a massive high-tech military and intelligence hunt involving assets and agents across several regions is strengthening a conclusion reached by many analysts that the al-Qaeda leader might have sought an unexpected hiding spot-India.
CIA has established an advanced information and intelligence gathering network in
But a small breakthrough last summer refocused attention on
Before the Indian connection is explained, a word on the authenticity question of recent bin Laden tapes is necessary.
At least four different audio tapes surfaced last year carrying messages from Osama bin Laden. The year 2010 was not good for these bin Laden podcasts. Compared to each year since 2001, this was the first time that bin Laden tapes were met with widespread public skepticism inside and outside the
BIN LADEN TAPES IN 2010
Bin Laden released four tapes in 2010. On 29 January, he came out with an audio tape blasting President Obama’s hazy position on climate change. This was a major departure for bin Laden. Climate change debate is hot in the
A week earlier, bin Laden released an audio tape praising an attempt by a Nigerian citizen to blow up an airliner bound for
In March, Bin Laden released another tape warning the
And finally, in October, bin Laden released an audio tape warning to kill five French citizens kidnapped in
The strange part is that the kidnappings actually neatly fitted with the international competition over uranium mines in
WHO RELEASES THESE TAPES?
There is a full delivery cycle to Osama bin Laden’s tapes. They are recorded, edited, copied and then transported to reach their final destination on the screen of a television news channel. Al Jazeera has received most of these video and audio tapes, with few going to other Arab and western networks.
For some reason, the government of the
But there has been another very prolific source of Al-Qaeda tapes other than al-Jazeera. This second source is SITE. It is short for Search for International Terrorist Entities Institute. It was founded in 2002 as a private intelligence group by Rita Katz, an Iraqi born Israeli and
Many have accused SITE and Ms. Katz of turning terrorism into an industry. Her strong links to the Israeli military and intelligence community provide context to her work.
There is one more country besides
THE INDIAN LINK
The Bush administration worked hard and quite successfully in convincing the Indians that
During the 1990s, and thanks to this common threat perception,
All countries in the region have established contacts with Al-Qaeda at different times when it served their interests. Topping the list is the
The only country in the region whose name never appears in the list of countries that tried to contact al-Qaeda is
Indian intelligence agency, RAW, approached al-Qaeda immediately after the group’s defeat in
The first signs of Osama bin Laden’s contacts with the Indians emerged in early 2002, barely four months after the collapse of Taliban government in
What happened next is that the Americans and the British found leads indicating the possibility that bin Laden did indeed come to the region but only as a stopover to cross into
No trace of the terror leader was found. But it was a year later that information started trickling in about the possibility that bin Laden had availed Indian contacts and visited
There were three routes that bin Laden could have taken to India dodging the Pakistanis, knowing that Pervez Musharraf’s government would not hesitate in turning him over to the Americans having backstabbed pro-Pakistan Afghan Taliban officials, like the last Taliban ambassador to Islamabad Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef. Bin Laden could have been flown from
The reports at the time said bin Laden visited two cities in southern
Pakistani officials shared this information with American and British journalists and were surprised to see them protecting
Myra McDonalds, a Reuters journalist, did muster the courage to mention bin Laden’s
Apparently, al Qaeda chief’s audio tape of March 2010 came from
Al-Qaeda is almost decimated. There may not be more than fifty current and former al Qaeda associates in
Back in late 1990s, when all doors were closed for bin Laden, he surprised everyone by taking refuge in an unexpected place: