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Could Bin Laden Be in the Last Place We'd Look?
AOL News ^ | 05/06/10 | Carl Franzen

Posted on 05/06/2010 8:57:22 AM PDT by MissesBush

(May 5) -- Is Osama bin Laden, America's public enemy No. 1, hiding right under authorities' noses in Washington, D.C.? Or is he instead spending his days enjoying his favorite sport -- falcon hunting -- in Tehran?

AP Where is Osama bin Laden? Those are the provocative scenarios put forth recently by two wildly different sources: the former by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a bizarre interview Tuesday on "Good Morning America," and the latter by an Icelandic documentary film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23.

Of course, the claims cannot both be true -- and many would say neither is -- but behind them lies a surprising amount of evidence and testimony suggesting that the 9/11 mastermind has at least visited both countries.

The Bird Wrangler

Bin Laden is said to be obsessed with falconry, an ancient European and Middle Eastern tradition that has been revived as an elite sport. It's also the focus of "Feathered Cocaine," which takes an in-depth look at the international market for falcons trained for this purpose ("the world's most mysterious and profitable illegal trade," according to the Tribeca Film Festival website).

The bin Laden connection emerges in the latter part of the film -- in particular, a scene in which a "disguised falcon smuggler from the Soviet Union ... says he met bin Laden in 2004 at a falcon-hunting camp in northeastern Iran" and then five times thereafter, according to the Daily Mail.

Bin Laden's fondness for the sport has been asserted many times before by the noted American falconer Alan Parrot (also a major subject of the film), who has trained falcons for royals throughout the Middle East, including the shah of Iran. In 2006, the website GlobalSecurity paraphrased him as saying "there was never any question that bin Laden was present" at hunting expeditions in Afghanistan, accompanied by other dignitaries from the United Arab Emirates.

That claim found support in the 9/11 Commission testimony of former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who told senators that "the United States had planned to bomb a falconry camp in Pakistan when Osama bin Laden was present" in the 1990s, but canceled at the last minute when it was clear that "a minister from the United Arab Emirates was a member of the hunting party," according to The New York Times.

The Iranian Refugee

Similarly, the idea that bin Laden has sought refuge in Iran has been around for some time. Shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, Asia Times Online reported that "extensive investigations" had produced evidence that bin Laden "crossed the southwest border into Iran, where he [was] being sheltered by dissident Iranian guerrilla fighters."

Indeed, just a few months later, in February 2002, the Christian Science Monitor quoted a "self-described chef for Osama bin Laden as saying that 'Osama had three offers of escape: one from Iraq, one from Iran and another from some mafia types. ... Everybody said it was best to head to Iran, but I was not very keen on the idea,'" so the chef was left behind. But he maintained that the Iranian escape option was merely a gateway to "Azerbaijan, or possibly Chechnya."

But why would bin Laden, a devout Sunni Muslim of the Wahhabi tradition, go to Iran, where the predominant religion is rival Shiite Islam?

One option: The Times of London reported last year that bin Laden's closest relatives -- including one of his wives and seven children -- were living in a secret compound in Iran. "The Iranian government did not know what to do with this large group of people that nobody else wanted [after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan], so they just kept them safe," bin Ladin heir Omar Ossama bin Laden told the paper.

That would seem to coincide with Parrot's claim that the al-Qaida leader "is healthy, surrounded by his wife and a few of his children and has only four bodyguards in Tehran, where is living under protection of Iran's Revolutionary Guard."

The U.S. Sightseer

Parrot's claims in "Feathered Cocaine" led "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos to ask Ahmadinejad during an interview Tuesday: "Is Osama bin Laden in Tehran?" After deflecting the question several times, Ahmadinejad finally blurted out, "I heard that Osama bin Laden is in the Washington, D.C."

The notion that America's most high-profile terrorist target -- a man with a $27 million bounty on his head -- could make his way to the U.S. undetected and reside here for any length of time seems incomprehensible. But as longtime bin Laden family researcher Steve Coll wrote in The New Yorker last year, bin Laden did once briefly visit the land of the free, home of the brave (albeit years before 9/11):

Osama was here for two weeks in 1979, it seems, and he visited Indiana and Los Angeles, among other places. He had a favorable encounter with an American medical doctor; he also reportedly met in Los Angeles with his spiritual mentor of the time, the Palestinian radical Abdullah Azzam.

As for bin Laden being here today, however, Fox News reports that a State Department spokesman vehemently denied the idea, saying, "Over the past few hours, we've done an intensive search here at the Department of State -- every nook and cranny, every rock, and we can safely report that Osama bin Laden is not here."

The Question Mark

Where, then, is the world's most sought-after terrorist? Many believe he remains hidden somewhere in the Hindu Kush mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, or perhaps in greater Pakistan itself.

As the hunt goes on and U.S. officials continue to wrestle with the question of what should be done if and when he is apprehended, one thing is certain: If he's still alive, wherever he is, he's made his nest secure.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: binladen; featheredcocaine; iran; manhunt
in February 2002, the Christian Science Monitor quoted a "self-described chef for Osama bin Laden as saying that 'Osama had three offers of escape: one from Iraq,

Yeah, Saddam had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or Bin Laden and in fact they were enemies and invading Iraq was "unjust" and "illegal." /sarc off

1 posted on 05/06/2010 8:57:22 AM PDT by MissesBush
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To: MissesBush
He's dead. Either died at Tora Bora or from kidney failure. Or do you all really believe he been able to haul his kidney dialysis machine around from cave to cave for the last 9 years to keep himself alive.
2 posted on 05/06/2010 8:59:41 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (The problem with Socialism is eventually you run our of other peoples money. Lady Thatcher)
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To: MissesBush
Could Bin Laden Be in the Last Place We'd Look?

White House Map Room?

3 posted on 05/06/2010 8:59:48 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: MissesBush

I was under the impression he is on a long extended vacation in the mountains. You know...Tora Bora.


4 posted on 05/06/2010 9:00:59 AM PDT by cubreporter (Rush is an American Patriot. He has been blessed with exceptional wisdom. Thank God for Rush!!!)
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To: cubreporter

He’s living in Iran. We are never going to get him. The Feds don’t want to get him.


5 posted on 05/06/2010 9:02:21 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (?)
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To: MNJohnnie

I’m sure he has multiple dialysis machines, all bought for him by his Saudi backers, they can afford it.


6 posted on 05/06/2010 9:02:27 AM PDT by eclecticEel (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 7/4/1776 - 3/21/2010)
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To: MissesBush
The Times of London reported last year that bin Laden's closest relatives -- including one of his wives and seven children -- were living in a secret compound in Iran.

Actually, that came out more like five years ago. It was just ignored.

His family and his inner circle were given safe haven in Iran. So its not much of a stretch to imagine he also was given refuge.

If we weren't ready to go to war with Iran, we might prefer to ignore that piece of information. There could be negotiations where we try to find the price tag that would induce Tehran to hand him over, quietly, but publicly we'd prefer to go after the Taliban in Pakistan rather than take on Iran directly (as opposed to our current low level conflict).

7 posted on 05/06/2010 9:03:21 AM PDT by marron
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To: eclecticEel
Could Bin Laden Be in the Last Place We'd Look?

We'll, I guess that rules out the DNC headquaters cause' that's the first place I'd look ...
8 posted on 05/06/2010 9:03:29 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: MissesBush

"Of course he'd be the last place we'd look. If we found him, why would we keep looking anywhere else?"

9 posted on 05/06/2010 9:04:33 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Yo-Yo

Cameraman for Katie Kuric ... writer for SNL ... Bill Maher’s stockbroker ... Soro’s main squeeze ...


10 posted on 05/06/2010 9:05:04 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: knarf

<< Could Bin Laden Be in the Last Place We’d Look? >>

I think he’s pulling a “Lewinski,” and he’s hiding under Obama’s desk in the Oval Office.

I know that’s the last damned place that I’d look.


11 posted on 05/06/2010 9:11:28 AM PDT by ObamaMustGo2012 (Obama Must Go In 2012)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I don’t believe it. The man had Kidney problems. I believe he is dead and has been.


12 posted on 05/06/2010 9:11:53 AM PDT by cubreporter (Rush is an American Patriot. He has been blessed with exceptional wisdom. Thank God for Rush!!!)
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To: MissesBush

Obama did say he would ‘stand Muslim when the political winds shift in an ugly direction’...


13 posted on 05/06/2010 9:13:33 AM PDT by Freddd (CNN is down to Three Hundred Thousand viewers. But they worked for it.)
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To: cubreporter

Is Osama Bin Laden Enjoying a Safe Haven in Iran?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2508006/posts

Usama Bin Laden Is Living Comfortably in Iran
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2506209/posts

It really doesn’t matter if he is at the South Pole, in Iran, or going to rave dances in Seattle. The Feds do not want him captured. They want to keep him in circulation as a boogeyman for the rest of us to stay in fear of.


14 posted on 05/06/2010 9:17:56 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (?)
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To: Freddd
"Obama did say he would ‘stand Muslim when the political winds shift in an ugly direction’"

When? Cite reference, please.

15 posted on 05/06/2010 9:19:29 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: MissesBush

16 posted on 05/06/2010 9:39:46 AM PDT by RedMDer (Throw them all out in 2010... Forward with Confidence! Forward!)
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To: MissesBush
Could Bin Laden Be in the Last Place We'd Look?

Yep ... under a collapsed cave in Tora Bora. IOW ... he's dead, Jim.

17 posted on 05/06/2010 9:42:23 AM PDT by al_c (http://www.blowoutcongress.com)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

don’t think so!


18 posted on 05/06/2010 10:45:42 AM PDT by cubreporter (Rush is an American Patriot. He has been blessed with exceptional wisdom. Thank God for Rush!!!)
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To: knarf; Freddd
"The Audacity of Hope" pg. 261

Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

19 posted on 05/06/2010 10:48:46 AM PDT by marron
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To: marron
Thank you.

Not having read the damned thing (correct adjective), I wouldn't have known.

20 posted on 05/06/2010 10:51:30 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: MissesBush
If you notice a tall person in a burka with a number of other burka clad people and at least one "male" per burka clad person. THAT is probably Osama bin Laden.

Wasn't someone matching that description seen going into the White House recently?


The part about the White House is conjecture. A while ago Osama admitted to traveling freely in the Middle East when wearing a Burka. Osama bin "fraidy-cat" is the most LAME EPIC FAIL ever! He doesn't even deserve the "epic" part. He's just a lame failure.
21 posted on 05/06/2010 11:56:24 AM PDT by HighlyOpinionated (SPEAK UP REPUBLICANS, WE CAN'T HEAR YOU YET! IMPEACH OBAMA!)
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