Where is Osama Bin Ladin? Reflections on Nine Eleven.

OBL is very much alive an kicking now that he is taking a pausing kicking the world again. Never has any man in the history of mankind been so widely hunted down as has been OBL-without question. He has literally become an aura of himself—more appropriately—“a hayola,” borrowing the most appropriate word from the Persian language. I will tell you a little later where OBL is hiding and why he will not be caught but first let me tell you the history of manhunts in the past. We were very successful—almost—in hunting down the one-armed man, Dr. Kildare, at least till the next week’s episode. However, we could not hunt down Hitler; we think he died with Eva. Who knows? The FBI’s list of ten most wanted often goes begging despite large rewards. This is possibly because these are hardened experienced criminals who know how to hide themselves or perhaps because of a strange correlation between the intensity of hunt and the chances of it becoming successful. Most criminals who flee are caught not because of an efficient police but because of the sloppiness of crime that holds the hand of investigator or because of the stupid conscience of the criminal. In the case of OBL, neither exists. The trail of crime is lit with “cat’s eyes,” as displayed by the West; not necessarily what OBL littered with the world with. In my frequent visits to the Middle East and my close conversations with local people on the topic, a consensus is growing in the Middle East that it was NOT OBL who has done it—or at least not alone. More interesting is the change taking place in the image of OB—from a dastardly criminal to a hero. But that is another discussion why the most popular joke, which I find least funny, talks about two planes of American Airlines taking down United Airlines. So, we do not really have a trail of crime that OBL may have left behind; secondly, there is no question of conscience involved here.

Now, where is OBL? According to General Musharraf of Pakistan, OBL is suffering from a serious kidney disease that might require kidney dialysis and other treatments; he may be suffering from other ailments, not necessarily cause by any bombs on Tora Bora, though. He must therefore reside where he may be able to get medical treatment without getting noticed; there as thousands of kidney patients in Karachi, Pakistan. There are also hundreds of thousands of Afghans in Karachi; OBL speaks the language and it will be an easy task to mill with the crowd with only a handful of entourage, perhaps one or two persons with him. Now a word about Afghans. Readers of history will recognize that Afghans have never been ruled by anyone; the last attempt by the English resulted in the slaughter of thousands with only one man left to return and tell the story back in the 19th century. The point is that even someone were to suspect, knowing Afghan ethic (or lack of it), they will never squeal, millions or no millions. That makes it tough.

So, I have told you where OBL is hiding; I have also told you why it will be impossible for the US to find him and finally I will tell you that the forces behind OBL are not retreating; they are consolidating, actually solidifying, something which should be sobering to all.