"We obviously are interested in finding out the details of the support network that obviously helped Mr. bin Laden
hide in Abbottabad...
Whether it's the three American mountaineers, Mr. Bin Laden
or anyone else, the borders are closed.
Bush administration, Gutman refers in a footnote to a neglected Wall Street Journal article in April 2001 reporting that "counterterrorism officials" were saying the United States had "inflated Mr. bin Laden
's power and prestige in recent years by portraying him as the ultimate terrorist mastermind and top threat to America's security." The clear implication was that the Bush administration would not worry so much about Bin Laden.
The Taliban, Mr. Bin Laden
and his supporters found shelter on both sides of the border with Pakistan, regrouped and regained strength.
Coming to the rescue of his followers in Iraq, Mr. bin Laden
(in his latest audiotape) lays his personal authority and credibility on the line.
Zawahiri found refuge in Afghanistan, yoking his fortunes to Mr. bin Laden
. Egyptian Jihad, previously devoted to the narrow purpose of toppling secular rule in Egypt, became instead the biggest component of al-Qaeda and major agent of a global war against America.
While some argue that publishing Mr. bin Laden
's words amounts to giving a terrorist a forum, valuable insights can be gleaned from the videotape and its transcript.
The war on terror has actually suffered as the conflict in Iraq has diverted military and intelligence resources from places like Afghanistan, where there could really be al-Qaida forces, including Mr. bin Laden
Embassy bombings in Africa said those attacks demonstrated "that while Mr. Bin Laden
may be a global menace, his group, Al Qaeda, was at times slipshod, torn by inner strike, betrayal, greed, and the banalities of life."
Mr. bin Laden
has no formal religious training and no title or position within Islam.