Osama bin Laden - remember him? Where is he, and is the U.S. getting closer to killing or capturing him? Those are the questions hovering over several recent developments in the Afghanistan war: the capture of Afghan Taliban military leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the killing of two key Taliban commanders and an increase in drone attacks. But several authorities on the eight-year Afghanistan war say no one should expect to see bin Laden in handcuffs anytime soon. “No, I don’t think we’re getting any closer,” says Stephen Tanner, author of Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War against the Taliban. Tanner says the ISI, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, knows where bin Laden is hiding, but is not ready to say...
Tag Archives | Osama Bin Laden
The news media are loving this story and the Daily Mail makes the most of it:
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Osama bin Laden has warned of the dangers of climate change.
The Al Qaeda leader spoke in a new audiotape aired in part on Al Jazeera television today.
In the tape, bin Laden warns of the threat presented by global warming – but he also offered a solution.
‘Talk about climate change is not an ideological luxury but a reality,’ he said.
‘All of the industrialised countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis.’
He added that while wealthy nations had agreed to the Kyoto Protocol that binds them to emission targets, former U.S. President George W Bush had later rejected such limitations before Congress in deference to big business.
The United States never ratified the existing Kyoto Protocol, whose present commitments expire in 2012, and has said it will not sign up to an extended Kyoto Protocol, preferring a new agreement.
Via BBC News:
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A Spanish politician has said he was shocked to find out the FBI had used his photo for a digitally-altered image showing how Osama Bin Laden might look.
Gaspar Llamazares said he would no longer feel safe travelling to the US after his hair and parts of his face appeared on a most-wanted poster.
A photo of Bin Laden from 1998 (left) was digitally altered using elements from an image of Gaspar Llamazares (right)
He said the use of a real person for the mocked-up image was “shameless”. The FBI admitted a forensic artist had obtained certain facial features “from a photograph he found on the internet”.
The digitally-altered photos of the al-Qaeda leader, showing how he might look now, aged 52, were published on the state department’s Rewards for Justice website on Friday. Officials said they had adapted a 1998 file image to take account of a decade’s worth of ageing, and possible changes to facial hair.
Giles Foden writes in the Guardian:
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In October last year, an item appeared on an authoritative Russian studies website that soon had the science-fiction community buzzing with speculative excitement. It asserted that Isaac Asimov’s 1951 classic Foundation was translated into Arabic under the title “al-Qaida”. And it seemed to have the evidence to back up its claims.
“This peculiar coincidence would be of little interest if not for abundant parallels between the plot of Asimov’s book and the events unfolding now,” wrote Dmitri Gusev, the scientist who posted the article. He was referring to apparent similarities between the plot of Foundation and the pursuit of the organisation we have come to know, perhaps erroneously, as al-Qaida.
The Arabic word qaida — ordinarily meaning “base” or “foundation” — is also used for “groundwork” and “basis”. It is employed in the sense of a military or naval base, and for chemical formulae and geometry: the base of a pyramid, for example.