Skip to comments.Bin Laden 'will be betrayed'
Posted on 10/11/2001 3:49:36 PM PDT by veronica
Bin Laden 'will be betrayed'
Staff and agencies
Thursday October 11, 2001
Osama bin Laden will probably be betrayed by an Afghan who will lead allied forces to the world's most wanted man, the Ministry of Defence claimed today. Sir Michael Boyce, Britain's chief of defence, said the current aerial bombardment would probably "flush out" Bin Laden - and if that failed someone would inform on him.
He also predicted that the offensive would last through the winter and well into next year.
He said: "What you can do is make support for that man so difficult that eventually someone will give him up. "I think the pressure we are putting on the country will flush him out and he will be flushed out by an Afghan person who doesn't support him, probably, in the first instance, and when he finds him he will tell us and we will do something about it."
As American warplanes continued daylight raids over Afghanistan, Sir Michael brought reporters in London up to date on the progress of the war. "We must expect to go through the winter and into next summer at the very least," he said.
"I certainly see the tempo fluctuating. I think it is certainly possible there will be a slowdown in the near future while we take stock." He indicated that if coalition ground troops were sent into Afghanistan, they would be likely to include the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade, currently taking part in exercises in Oman.
"They are our expert mountain and winter warfare troops," he said. "If we were to be thinking about doing any operations in Afghanistan on the ground, then clearly they would be one of the units we would give very close consideration to."
He made it clear that any deployment of ground troops would probably only be for a short period with very clearly defined objectives. "There needs to be a very clear reason for going in. It is not a country, as history has told us, for us to linger in, other than to go in for a very specific task and then withdraw again," he said.
Sir Michael said that the air strikes were having a "huge psychological effect" on the Taliban amid signs that the regime was beginning to fracture under the pressure.
"The Taliban leadership may make defiant statements, but the Talibs on the ground can see which way the wind is blowing," he said.
"They should be getting the message about our determination to root out al-Qaida. They have seen not just the coalition's military power but its resolve."
More than 40 targets inside Afghanistan have been hit during the raids and Sir Michael said that while the results of the battle damage assessment had been "encouraging", more needed to be done.
Afghan refugees who fled into neighbouring Pakistan said that the airport at Kandahar, where at least 300 Bin Laden followers used to live, and a terrorist training camp at nearby Maiwan were both hit in last night's raids.
US warplanes used 5,000lb "bunker buster" bombs, designed to penetrate reinforced strongholds, for the first time in a shift of tactics designed to clear the way for possible commando raids or the deployment of ground forces.
The Taliban claimed that more than 100 people died in last night's air raids in the heaviest bombardment so far by forces involved in Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, said that they included 15 civilians "martyred" outside a mosque when US warplanes attacked the city of Jalalabad.
"The number is increasing with the passage of time. The pentagon is lying to the world when it says it is not hitting civilians," he said.
The defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, said that the claims - which had not been independently verified - would be thoroughly investigated. He said that every effort was made to "minimise" civilian casualties.
A reward is no good to someone if they are killed trying to earn it. That's one of the limiting factors of using bounties to get to bin Laden. And that is why it will take ground forces - an informer will be able to come forward and survive the experience, and the Special Forces will have the pleasure of arranging an early meeting between bin Laden and Allah.
Unlike you, I'm not concerned with the Afghans resolve. What I am concerned with is the theory that as long as you are punching the other guy in the face there is not much he can do in return.
And while we're punching them in the face, somebody will rat out Mr OBL and his crew and they will then get to meet the guys with the painted faces, Benelli shotguns and bad attitudes toward people who kill Americans.
Exactly - look how many times Curly caught it when he was just standing there while Larry and Moe argued...
Quick, someone email AGAviator photos of the thousands of Iraqis surrendering to US forces, CNN camera crews, and unmanned aerial drones...
The Soviets wanted to take over their country. We do not. Consider the difference.
I heard a radio talk show caller last night recommend that if OBL were captured, he should be covertly transported to the U.S., where a team of crack surgeons could administer an involuntary sex change. Upon completion of his, "transition," he could be smuggled back into the moslem world as a woman. I found the idea intriguing.
So you think America is being bombed as heavily as Afghanistan has been in recent days?