Jul 07 2008

Is Bin Laden Being Given Sanctuary By Pakistan On A Promise To Not Attack America? Is He On His Deathbed?

Why has the United States avoided a second attack against the homeland – even overseas assets like ships, embassies and military bases – for so long? The fact is many attacks have been thwarted prior to them being implemented, for example Richard Reid and his exploding shoes and the UK Airline plot where explosive disguised as ordinary liquids were going to bring down a dozen airplanes from Europe landing in the United States, raining down bodies and destruction across the eastern seaboard). And our allies in Spain, London, Bali and elsewhere have not been so fortunate as we. Germany did recently dodge a bullet with a foiled plot there. But there have been very few if any attacks over the years, why is that?

There is a report from Pakistan from a source of unknown credibility (which some could default to zero credibility) that another factor in the relative lack of attacks against the West, and America specifically, may be a quid pro quo arrangement between elements of the Pakistan military and Bin Laden. An arrangement which provides sanctuary for Bin Laden as long as he does not attack America:

The same sources that informed this columnist in 2003 of a likely assassination attempt on Musharraf – a forecast that he published in the Indian newsweekly Sahara Time – have claimed that an understanding exists between bin Laden and friends in the Pakistan army that no attack would be conducted on U.S. territory, and in exchange for such forbearance, he would continue to be allowed to remain at large. They further claim that this understanding has been confined to bin Laden and his friends within Pakistan, and has not included the United States, which therefore remains unaware of the Faustian bargain made with the wily ex-sheikh.

The rest of the article seems to jump to wild conclusions, such as the idea US aid to Pakistan has been channeled to Taliban resistance efforts inside Afghanistan (possible, but not plausible – I am sure the US is tracking their investments given Pakistan’s issues with terrorists). So I have serious doubts that this is the reason, or a primary reason, we have not had an attack since 9-11 (as I noted, we have had attempts at attacks – but they were thwarted in many cases, and others were against “The West”). Given that skepticism, I must note the author claims prior predictions from their sources were born out before, and does try and address these other factors:

As for the sources mentioned, their credibility cannot be brushed aside in light of the fact that two assassination attempts were indeed made against Musharraf in 2003, a few months after their prediction was announced. Hence, their story of such an informal understanding between bin Laden and his friends in Pakistan cannot be ruled out.

It is true that thus far, there has been no al-Qaida attack on the U.S. homeland since 9/11. However, this may be due to lack of ability – caused by superb policing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation – rather than an absence of intention. As for the bombings in London and Spain, these are believed to be the responsibility of copycats with no organizational contact with bin Laden. The term “al-Qaida” is today used as a generic term to define the origins of almost any attack conducted by Wahabbi extremists. To that extent, bin Laden continues to be credited for actions in which he has had no role.

What is clear is that bin Laden, through his Sancho Panza, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been swift to claim credit for any mass terror attack. Al-Zawahiri has made several references to the ongoing violence in Iraq, and reports talk of an “al-Qaida in Iraq.” However, most such actions seem to have been motivated less by adherence to Wahabbi extremist ideology than to resentment at the occupation of the country by foreign troops.

As I said, I have serious doubts about this claim, but it intrigued me enough to ponder it for a while and I decided to share it. An interesting read at a minimum. If not at least for the perennial rumor of Bin Laden’s pending death to a long illness:

Those active in maintaining longstanding linkages between jihadis and some elements of the Pakistan army claim that bin Laden has been in deteriorating physical health since 1997, and that his condition worsened after 2005, requiring constant medical attention.

If bin Laden passes away without another major strike, it would reinforce the view of those who argue that his failure to seriously disrupt life in target countries indicates that his ideology and actions do not have divine blessing, and that they are instead motivated by the devil in order to tarnish the fair name of Islam.

God Willing.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Is Bin Laden Being Given Sanctuary By Pakistan On A Promise To Not Attack America? Is He On His Deathbed?”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Pakistan sees Afghanistan as an ally of India. Any ally if India is a potential enemy of Pakistan. Pakistan will do whatever they can to attempt to gain control of Afghanistan or to torment the Afghan government into paralysis.

  2. BarbaraS says:

    Why would Pakistan harbor this cesspool within their borders and able to plot mischeif just to avoid another attack of the US? Why would they care? The source being reliable because he told about two assassination efforts in 2003 accurately… so what? There have been many assassination attempts on Mushareff even before the war on terror began. That’s what happens during a military coup. This all sounds full of it. You didn’t say what the paper published this article. It sounds very like AP though. Gosh, I hope they don’t charge you because I named them.

    The reason there have not been anymore attacks on us is because Al Quaeda has been penned down in Iraq and they have put all their resources into this project. The Bush administration ahs thwarted other efforts. But, never let the media give him any credit for this or anything else for that matter. Al Quaeda is so weakened they are now using children and women as suicide bombers. You know, the women they claim they are protecting by curtailing all activities outside the home.

  3. Terrye says:

    I have to wonder if the time will come when the governments of the region will begin to believe that all these people are too much trouble to tolerate.

    I still think Bin Laden might be dead. Whatever anyone says. I just think it is so.

  4. gwood says:

    I continue to believe that the reason we have not been attacked on our own soil since 9-11 is that the Great Satan’s response completely eliminated the deficit of respect that caused the attacks to begin with. We perhaps have had an effect on their capability to strike, but the pivotal factor is our enemy’s will.

    It is fairly obvious the jihadis knew we would come to Afghanistan, where they would defeat us as they believe they had defeated the Russians. The Americans not only proved a willingness to stand and shed blood there without fleeing, but then (shock and awe?) went after Saddam. Though we attempted to frame our response to 9-11 in defensive and altruistic terms, upon entering Iraq the Arab Street began to see our actions as punitive and retaliatory. The “street” went from ululating in triumph at the sight of American dead to cautioning restraint.

    It is somewhat possible then, that the leaders of Pakistan, among other ME countries, fearing a similar fate, would adopt a posture of caution and do whatever they could to prevent the renegades from angering the Great Satan further.

    Crediting our defensive measures with stunting their capabilities to strike simply doesn’t explain seven years of no concerted effort to attack us here on our own soil. Going on the offensive, and winning on the all-important psychological battlefield, does.

    This is what the anti-war left completely misconstrues about the value of the summary sacking of Saddam Hussein, in particular its impact on the Arab-Islamic mindset, in making us safer here at home, in my opinion.

  5. AJStrata says:


    I agree, going on the offensive and sucking them into the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq also removed their ability to attack us.

  6. Neo says:

    There are many scenarios that could produce the same result.

    How about .. bin Laden is already dead .. and known to be dead by both sides .. but both sides ignore his death.
    .. al Qaeda gets a leader that can never be captured or killed (because he is already dead and hiding in a grave)
    .. the CIA et al gets an enemy that can keep providing them with increased funding year after year (without fear of some amateur screwing things up by killing or capturing him).

    Sounds like a win-win to me.

    Sounds just as likely as this other story.

  7. Snapple says:

    I read that the FBI took fingerprints from lots of captured terrorists and it turned out many of them had lived in or visited the US.

    But they left our country and went back to fight. I wonder if the war in Iraq lured a lot of them out.