February 21, 2004

Bin Laden "Surrounded"?

When Drudge posted this this report citing a story from The Sunday Express I was skeptical, because we've been down this road before, only to be disappointed. Now the same report is getting a bit more play in the European press, as reported by Bloomberg.com and again by Israel's Haaretz Press in this article. The Express story says that Bin Laden...

"... is in a mountainous area to the north of the Pakistani city of Quetta. The region is said to be peopled with bin Laden supporters and the terrorist leader is estimated to also have 50 of his fanatical bodyguards with him.

The claim is attributed to "a well-placed intelligence source" in Washington, who is quoted as saying: "He (bin Laden) is boxed in."

The paper says the hostile terrain makes an all-out conventional military assault impossible. The plan to capture him would depend on a "grab-him-and-go" style operation...

...The special forces are "absolutely confident" there is no escape for bin Laden, and are awaiting the order to go in and get him.

Well, we do know there has been an awful lot of Special Forces activity in that area recently, and that the Pentagon has made no secret of the fact that they have intensified the pursuit of Bin Laden in recent months. Take it with a few grains of salt, because as the Telegraph story admits, the Sunday Express is known for its "sometimes colourful scoops".

UPDATE 2/23: A Washington Times story today has more details on the push to locate Bin Laden.

Posted by dan at February 21, 2004 8:31 PM