Skip to comments.CIA has come close to getting bin Laden deputy
Posted on 12/01/2010 9:49:05 PM PST by Nachum
The CIA has come closer to capturing or killing Osama bin Laden's top deputy than was previously known during the past nine years, the Associated Press has learned.
Tragically, the agency thought it had its best chance last year at a secret base in Afghanistan, but instead fell victim to a double agent's devastating suicide bombing.
The CIA missed a chance to nab Ayman al-Zawahri in 2003 in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar, where he met with another senior al Qaeda leader who was apprehended the next day, several current and former U.S. intelligence officials said.
The fugitive Egyptian doctor also may have narrowly survived a bombing by Pakistani military planes in 2004, the former and current officials said. And a well-publicized U.S. missile strike aimed at him in 2006 failed because he did not turn up at the attack site, they said.
Targeting al-Zawahri - along with bin Laden - is a main goal of U.S. counterterror efforts, which are focused on a man who has retained control of al Qaeda's operations and strategic planning even as he has led an underground existence in Pakistan's rugged tribal border zone.
"Finding senior al Qaeda terrorists - at a time when we're pursuing the most aggressive counterterrorism operations in our history - is of course a top priority for the CIA," said agency spokesman George Little.
But unlike bin Laden, a cipher since the Sept. 11 attacks who has surfaced only in occasional taped statements, al-Zawahri has kept a higher public profile and taken risks that expose him more frequently.
He is known to travel cautiously and he regularly issues audio and video harangues that are scrutinized closely for clues, said the current and former officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the classified hunt for the al Qaeda leader.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
How many deputies does he have? I don’t care about his deputy.
I too am tired of the “we came this close” excuses. About time the CIA earned their keep.
A lot of folks “come close” to winning the lottery their whole lives. “Close” doesn’t count.
Uh oh...not the most dangerous job in the world again..... The Al Queda #3 man!!!!!!
for whatever reason every so often a Bin Laden story is trotted out by the forces that be- just the other day i was thinking that one was overdue