A French regional newspaper quoted a French secret service report on Saturday as saying that Saudi Arabia is convinced that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan last month.
L'Est Republicain printed what it said was a copy of the report dated September 21 and said it was shown to President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and France's interior and defence ministers on the same day.
"According to a usually reliable source, the Saudi services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead," the document said.
"The information gathered by the Saudis indicates that the head of al Qaeda was a victim while he was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, of a very serious case of typhoid which led to a partial paralysis of his internal organs."
The report, which was stamped with a "confidential defence" label and the initials of the French secret service, said Saudi Arabia first heard the information on September 4 and that it was waiting for more details before making an official announcement.
Typhoid? Wow, is that avoidable. Well mostly so. But as reported here, it is also prevalent in the area he's thought to be hiding.
You'd think someone like Osama would be immunized against that (however as I read it, the vaccine only has a 50-75% protective rate, so he might have fallen outside the curve and depending on what vaccine he took and how long ago he took it, may not have had much protection at all). But given his other medical problems it may have been infection enough to kill him fairly quickly.
Anyway, I will monitor and report as more info becomes available. But Typhoid. Huh. That'd be a bummer. It's not that I mind he may be dead, I'd have just chosen a different way. I'd have much rather it have been 1,000 pounder delivered air mail with all the names of the 9/11 victims written on the outside that sent him screaming toward his 72 virgins. OTOH, if true, no "martyr" for Osama. Death by bug, instead.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, says that Saudi officials have received multiple credible reports over the last several weeks that Bin Laden has been suffering from a water-borne illness. The source believes that there is a "high probability" that Bin Laden has already died from the disease, but stressed that Saudi officials have thus far received no concrete evidence of Bin Laden's death.
"This is not a rumor," says the source. "He is very ill. He got a water-related sickness and it could be terminal. There are a lot of serious facts about things that have actually happened. There is a lot to it. But we don't have any concrete information to say that he is dead."
Well it may not be a rumor that he's sick, but to this point it is a rumor that he's dead.
On Saturday, the French newspaper L'Est Republicain cited a report by the French intelligence service, Direction Generale des Services Exteriors (DGSE), saying that Saudi intelligence officials "seem to have become convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead." The report quoted by the newspaper said the Saudis believe bin Laden "might have succumbed to a very serious case of typhoid fever resulting in partial paralysis of his lower limbs while in Pakistan on August 23, 2006."
The DGSE report quoted by L'Est Republicain said that its information on the Saudi findings came from a "usually reliable source," indicating that it did not necessarily come directly from Saudi intelligence officials. The DGSE report cited by the newspaper said that Bin Laden's geographic isolation made it difficult for him to receive proper medical assistance for his ailment. The report said that Saudi intelligence picked up the first news of bin Laden's alleged demise on September 4. The DGSE says that Saudi authorities are waiting to get more details, "notably the exact place of his burial, before officially announcing the news," the newspaper said, citing what it called verbatim text from the report.
In Pakistan, a senior official of that country's top spy agency, the ISI or Directorate of Inter-Service Intelligence, said he had no information to confirm bin Laden's whereabouts or that he might be dead. The official said he believed the report could be fabricated. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on the topic and spoke on condition of anonymity.
And if every an intelligence agency might be plugged into al Qaeda, it would probably be the ISI.
Bin Laden's brother-in-law, Jamal Khalifa, who was the al Qaeda leader's best friend when they were university students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, told CNN that he has heard no report of bin Laden's death. The Saudi-based businessman has been married to bin Laden's sister, Shaikha, since 1986.
Khaled Batarfi, a managing editor at the Saudi newspaper Al Madina and who was close friends with bin Laden when they were teenagers, said he remains in touch with bin Laden's immediate family in Jeddah. Family members said Saturday they had heard nothing to confirm the report, Batarfi told CNN.
Of course this all assumes the family would be the first to know and they'd tell the truth if asked.
Anyway, I will monitor and report as more info becomes available. But Typhoid. Huh. That’d be a bummer. It’s not that I mind he may be dead, I’d have just chosen a different way. I’d have much rather it have been 1,000 pounder delivered air mail with all the names of the 9/11 victims written on the outside that sent him screaming toward his 72 virgins. OTOH, if true, no "martyr" for Osama. Death by bug, instead.
IF true, at least we can take solace in the fact that he’s hiding in that area w/o access to facilities, etc. because we’ve been making life hard on him and his organization. Even if it’s in this most indirect of ways, to at least have had a tiny hand in his death is a good thing.
Of course, he’s still alive, these rumors are always bogus.
O hell...The I & P debacle is just one factor. Too simplistic to think that’s the heart of the matter. You mean Iraq & Afghanistan aren’t happening? How about Spain? Spain too—like modern Israel—was once claimed as an Islamic land. Therefore, it could be argued Spain rightfully belongs to a prospective New United Islamist Caliphate & military jihad may be waged ethically consistent with Sharia to regain it—& any place else the Prophet, Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him & his epigones ever invaded, occupied or dreamed they visited—by any means necessary.!
If there’s no rain in the Middle East/South Asia—that’s the West’s & Israel’s fault. If Mahmoud doesn’t have sex with his wife—that’s the West’s & Israel’s fault.
Sorry Charlie. The problems for all concerned go much deeper. And longer…
"But if Bin Laden is irrelevant, why is the democrat’s plan for the war on terror to pull troops out of Iraq and redeploy them to capture Osama? "
Because the Democrats are against what ever Bush does. If Bush put all of our effort into finding bin Laden then the Democrats would be against it. If Bush hadn’t invaded Iraq the Democrats would say it was a big mistake because that is where the terrorists were running to after we invaded Afghanistan.
Because the Democrats are against what ever Bush does.
Yes, and there’s something about that which puzzles me. Don’t they feel some kind of frustration at themselves for letting the other side completely determine their own thoughts?
If Bush does something, I look at it and think "Hmm, do I agree with that or not?" It probably runs about 60-40 tilted in favor of disagreement.
But I’m not letting him tell me what I think, even through negation. Contrast that with folks such as mk, who apparently just perform a unary NOT operation on whatever Bush says or does, and that’s their position. No thinking necessary - just reflexive opposition. I don’t get it.
Funny how old bearded bastards like Osama or some of the other old villains in their mosques, they send out young men to get themselves killed but they don’t seem too anxious to strap a bomb to themselves.
Israel doesn’t matter, the terrorists want everybody to be Muslim or dead.
I would not state the jihadist agenda exactly as you did, but there is no question that the origins of al Qaeda are NOT found in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that conflict is NOT central to al Qaeda’s ideology.
Setting that aside, though, I wish the Truth Guy would elaborate on how, exactly, Bush is supposed to "solve" the Arab-Israel crisis.
I am not trying to be the straight man here for snarky one-liners about Bush. I mean, how can ANY American President snap his fingers and make the Arab-Israeli problem disappear?
Bin Laden is not irrelvant, he’s just not the be all and end all of the terrorism issue. When they die, even if we don’t get to kill them, it’s one less enemy. The problem of course is greater than any one villain.
It’s not just Bin Laden. Bin Laden, stripped of his financial assets, confined in his network, and sick, may be a lower-value target than he was in 2000. But we still need to get him, especially if the costs are low. Furthermore, where you find Bin Laden, you find Al-Zawahiri (spelling is probably wrong). Whatever’s left of the core of Al-Quaida is with Zawahiri, who could probably show up amidst any radical network in the world, take control of it, and redirect it from local attacks to global ones.
Zawahiri is probably the guy we really need to get. Finding him and Bin Laden should be just about one and the same. And the same argument for Zawahiri applies for Bin Laden. They’re confined right now, but they could do some damage if the American eye comes far enough off the ball.
On this being a ruse, I can think of at least one other potential reason for that possibility. If they were able to falsely convince the West that bin Laden was done for, and then allow the West to indulge in some self-congratulation and relief, bin Laden’s reappearance could then have a strong depressing effect on the West’s morale.
I don’t really think the other side would play that deep a game, but it’s still interesting to think about. Consider it a low probability scenario. I think it’s more likely that bin Laden has been dead or incapacitated for a long time, but al Qaeda has not wanted to give Bush the satisfaction of finding that out.