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Has U.S. intelligence lost track of Osama bin Laden?

Al Qaeda Leader Osama bin Laden

National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones suggested Sunday that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who has eluded capture by U.S. forces since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks he orchestrated, may periodically slip into Afghanistan from his remote cave in the mountains of Pakistan.

But Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said the truth was that the United States hasn't had good intelligence on Bin Laden's whereabouts in a long time. "I think it has been years," he said.

"Well, we don't know for a fact where Osama bin Laden is," Gates said on ABC's "This Week."  "If we did, we'd go get him."

Last week a Taliban suspect in Pakistan claimed Bin Laden had been in Afghanistan earlier this year, but Gates said the best estimate is that Bin Laden is in the rugged, lawless region of North Waziristan, along the border between the two countries.

Either way, as Jones said on CNN's "State of the Union," "We're going to have to get after that to make sure that [Bin Laden]... is either, once again, on the run or captured or killed."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Getty Images

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We don't have intelligence on bin Laden because the military and intelligence community knows that he didn't have much if anything to do with 9-11, so they're not interested in pursuing him. Politicians want bin Laden because it will make them look good. Either way, the real culprits of 9-11 are our good buddies, the ISI in Pakistan. US intelligence has known about the 9-11 scheme (in a general way) since 1993, when the original idea was hatched in Indonesia. I wonder what it was that Washington told Zell, Murdoch and the others that has kept them quiet for so long. The hijackers were almost all Egyptians and Saudis, and they were organized by Pakistanis, so we invade Afghanistan?! I hate the taliban, I hate bin Laden because he is a fanatical murderer, but neither are responsible for 9-11.

Well when have America good intelligence? WMD in Iraq??? now concocted story on Osama's Alqaeda presence in balochistan.....

Look now your own offical is admitting that they have no clue where in the hell is Osama. America has made Pakisatn a whipping boy to hide it's failures in Afghanistan. Americans should not confue Taliban with Alqaeda. They are stanuch warriors and they are only Americans because they have invaded their country and have been killing innocent civilians and then innocent civilians are either called collateral damage or they call these civilians as Taliban.

Obama is not goinf to show up just like that, i think he already change his face for christ sake

i dont think Obama is not doing a thing to get him


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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