Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Is Osama bin Laden getting busy?

As if there were not enough going on: Proven provider John McCreary sends up a rocket over an Asia Times report that bin Laden has been hotfooting it all over the Durand Line. Not clear whether the terrorist is policing up internal problems of his infernal organization, or winding up to try to reclaim the ...

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As if there were not enough going on: Proven provider John McCreary sends up a rocket over an Asia Times report that bin Laden has been hotfooting it all over the Durand Line. Not clear whether the terrorist is policing up internal problems of his infernal organization, or winding up to try to reclaim the global spotlight. Let's hope it is the former.

Asia Times Online on 24 March published an article by Syed Saleem Shahzad, who is an insightful commentator on South Asian affairs, as well as the publication's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He has studied al Qaida a long time.  He wrote that US intelligence has actionable information that Osama bin Laden has been "criss-crossing" the Pakistan -- Afghanistan border region in northwestern Pakistan during the past few weeks.

Shahzad wrote that US officials are "stunned" by bin Laden's visibility and the frequency of his movements. Bin Laden's purposes are not known. Terrorist analysts reportedly think the new level of activity means bin Laden is planning another large attack, though the 9/11 planning was actually not done by bin Laden. The South Asia analysts think he is meeting with friendly Afghan warlords to bring the Afghan War to a favorable conclusion for the Taliban.

As if there were not enough going on: Proven provider John McCreary sends up a rocket over an Asia Times report that bin Laden has been hotfooting it all over the Durand Line. Not clear whether the terrorist is policing up internal problems of his infernal organization, or winding up to try to reclaim the global spotlight. Let’s hope it is the former.

Asia Times Online on 24 March published an article by Syed Saleem Shahzad, who is an insightful commentator on South Asian affairs, as well as the publication’s Pakistan Bureau Chief. He has studied al Qaida a long time.  He wrote that US intelligence has actionable information that Osama bin Laden has been “criss-crossing” the Pakistan — Afghanistan border region in northwestern Pakistan during the past few weeks.

Shahzad wrote that US officials are “stunned” by bin Laden’s visibility and the frequency of his movements. Bin Laden’s purposes are not known. Terrorist analysts reportedly think the new level of activity means bin Laden is planning another large attack, though the 9/11 planning was actually not done by bin Laden. The South Asia analysts think he is meeting with friendly Afghan warlords to bring the Afghan War to a favorable conclusion for the Taliban.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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