Skip to comments.Why Is Osama Bin Laden So Silent On Iraq?
Posted on 04/07/2003 5:16:47 PM PDT by blam
Why is Osama bin Laden so silent on Iraq?
April 07 2003 at 01:18PM
By Michel Sailhan
Cairo - Feared Islamic militant Osama bin Laden has shown no sign of life since the United States-led war on Iraq started nearly three weeks ago, raising questions about his whereabouts, should he still be alive.
Could the mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States be waiting for his hour in Iraq after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is removed? Is he unable to communicate after the arrest of a top aide? Or is he simply dead?
In the run-up to the war that began on March 20, Bin Laden reportedly told Islamist militants to join the fight against the US forces in Iraq, despite deep-rooted hatred of Baghdad's secular Arab nationalist regime.
'US President George Bush is the Pharaoh of the century' "There is nothing wrong in Muslim interests converging with those of the socialists in the battle against the Crusaders, even if we believe and declare that the socialists, whether in Iraq or Yemen, are apostates," he said in an audio tape attributed to him, aired on February 11 by Qatar's Al-Jazeera television.
On February 16, in another audio tape posted on the Internet, the leader of the al-Qaeda network assured that Muslims "had the means to defeat the Americans," describing US President George Bush as "the Pharaoh of the century".
The US state department saw in the recordings proof of collusion between Saddam and Bin Laden, despite Baghdad's vehement denials.
Algerian-born French analyst Hasni Abidi voiced the possibility that Bin Laden could no longer relay public messages after the arrest on March 1 in Pakistan of al-Qaeda's third in command, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
"The noose has tightened after the arrest of Sheikh Mohammed who had information on Bin Laden's whereabouts and Bin Laden might have lost therefore the possibility of getting his message through," said Abidi.
'He might be preparing something much more powerful than words' "Has he lost contact with his men?" wondered Lebanese-born French analyst Antoine Basbous, who head the Arab Countries Observatory in Paris. "Or is he waiting for his hour to come?"
"The best part for Bin Laden is not what is happening now, a fight between Americans and Saddam Hussein, whose regime he had criticised," said Abidi.
"His speech will have wider reach when he if can demonstrate that the war is between the Iraqi people and occupation forces," he added.
"He might as well be waiting for Saddam to fall to explain that the nationalist regimes have failed and that the Umma (the worldwide community of Muslims) should take over," said Basbous.
"Saddam is his only competitor (in the Arab world), he has been for several months on all screens," Ghassan Charbel wrote in the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Hayat on Saturday.
"Bin Laden must be monitoring from his cave what is happening. He cannot be indifferent because if it had not been for the September 11 attacks, the US army would not be on the gates of Baghdad," he said.
"Perhaps, his men are preparing large-scale attacks on the rear of the US forces, on bases or aircraft carriers. It will take some time," said Basbous.
London-based Islamist Yasser Al-Serri goes for this possibility.
"He might be preparing something much more powerful than words," said the militant, whose extradition is sought by Egypt. - Sapa-AFP
Dang, beat me by three minutes ;-)
I think old Basbous is looking to get Baghdad Bob's job after this is all over.
Delusional comes to mind
It doesn't make much noise to rot.
He's dead, Jim.
Dead or alive, BinLaden fired his best and only shot on 9/11.
There ain't no suitcase nukes, no smallpox, no more hijacked airliners.
No. BinLaden's nothing but a small time punk now, and his cowardly followers are singin' like birds.
Notice how quiet the real Arab street has been.
These rats are scared to death. All they're peddlin' now is fear.
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