May 4th, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Pakistan dismayed at U.S. claim it was lax on bin Laden intelligence

Pakistan reacted with dismay Wednesday at CIA director Leon Panetta's assertion that it had not done enough to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, saying there is now "total mistrust" between the United States and Pakistan.

A senior Pakistani intelligence official was reacting to reports that Panetta had told House members Tuesday that Pakistan's role in determining bin Laden's whereabouts was troubling.

According to two sources in a closed door briefing, Panetta told lawmakers "either they were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be."

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Filed under: Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
May 3rd, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Clinton to Taliban: 'Abandon al Qaeda'

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quick to suggest that the death of Osama bin Laden offered a unique opportunity for a wider settlement in a region riven by warfare and insurgency.

"Our message to the Taliban remains the same," she said Monday. "You cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us, but you can make the choice to abandon al Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process."

That has been a long-cherished ambition of U.S. foreign policy - to delink the "good" Taliban from the "bad" Taliban and al Qaeda as a way of bringing peace to Afghanistan. As Clinton put in a speech to the Asia Society in February, the Holy Grail was to "split the weakened Taliban off from al Qaeda and reconcile those who will renounce violence and accept the Afghan constitution."

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Filed under: Osama bin Laden • Taliban
7 questions after the death of bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, the longtime leader of al Qaeda, was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion north of Islamabad, Pakistan.
May 2nd, 2011
02:18 PM ET

7 questions after the death of bin Laden

Editor's Note: Dr. James M. Lindsay is a Senior Vice President at the Council on Foreign Relations (where he blogs), co-author of "America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy" and a former director for global issues and multilateral affairs at the National Security Council.

By James M. Lindsay – Special to CNN

Americans are cheering the surprising news that U.S. Special Forces have killed Osama bin Laden. The successful military operation is a tribute to the skill of U.S. Special Forces, the perseverance of intelligence professionals who have hunted bin Laden for more than a decade and the nerve of a president to order a military strike that could have failed spectacularly.

The strike on bin Laden’s compound also raises lots of questions. Here are seven:

1. Does Bin Laden’s death cripple al Qaeda and jihadist terrorism more broadly? Probably not. Al Qaeda long ago ceased to be a centralized operation. For the last decade bin Laden has been a figurehead than a mastermind. Terrorist attacks, like the bomb plot that German authorities broke up last week, have been planned and carried out by largely independent al Qaeda “affiliates.” Nonetheless, U.S. Special Forces might have picked up valuable intelligence as they scoured bin Laden’s command post that could help uncover terrorist cells and plots.

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Filed under: Osama bin Laden
May 2nd, 2011
08:44 AM ET

Analysis: Who's going to replace bin Laden?

The killing of Osama bin Laden is "an enormously significant moment in the fight against al Qaeda terrorism," and there is no one poised to take his place as the group's leader, says CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.

Q&A on the significance of bin Laden's death to al Qaeda


Filed under: al Qaeda • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
May 2nd, 2011
08:32 AM ET

Osama bin Laden's death

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil, was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion in Abbottabad, about 31 miles north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, U.S. officials said Sunday night. Read the full story

And here's a round-up of some of the coverage:

How U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden had been 'hiding in plain sight'

Timeline: Bin Laden over the years

Is this really a deathblow to al Qaeda?

Who is bin Laden's successor?

The life and death of bin Laden

Hideout wasn't remote cave after all


Filed under: Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden killed in Pakistan; Karzai reacts
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was shot and killed Monday in a U.S. raid on a compound outside Islamabad, Pakistan.
May 2nd, 2011
07:38 AM ET

Osama bin Laden killed in Pakistan; Karzai reacts

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he hopes the world believes that his country is "not the place of terrorism" after the announcement that the al Qaeda leader was killed in neighboring Pakistan.

"If the international troops/forces are true allies of the Afghans - they should come out and say that the killing of Afghans, children and elders which took place over the many years on a daily basis was not a good idea," Karzai said Monday on state television.

Bin Laden eluded capture for years, once reportedly slipping out of a training camp in Afghanistan just hours before a barrage of U.S. cruise missiles destroyed it.

Prior to masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, bin Laden had been implicated in a series of deadly, high-profile attacks that had grown in their intensity and success during the 1990s. They included a deadly firefight with U.S. soldiers in Somalia in October 1993, the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 224 in August 1998, and an attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors in October 2000.

In his speech, Obama reiterated that the United States is not fighting Islam.

"I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims," Obama said.

Read the full story of bin Laden's capture


Filed under: al Qaeda • Daily Developments • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
April 26th, 2011
09:12 AM ET

What the latest WikiLeaks release reveals about bin Laden

WikiLeaks' latest release is classified military documents that detail information obtained from Guantanamo detainees. What do they reveal about Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda?

Documents describe bin Laden's moves

More about WikiLeaks

CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen, author of "The Longest War," weighs in on what the WikiLeaks documents reveal about bin Laden that the world didn't know a few days ago. Here's an edited transcript:

I think we have a little bit better sense of where he was in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

I think overall, these WikiLeaks documents about Guantanamo remind me a little bit of the WikiLeaks documents we had about Afghanistan and Pakistan from the U.S. military. They don't really add anything seismic to our general understanding of what happened. They're filling in details. They will be very interesting for future historians.

These are not top-secret documents. They're secret. So they're not the crown jewels. The fact that bin Laden was hard up for cash I think is pretty interesting, but that sort of accords with something we already knew, that bin Laden didn't have millions of dollars when he was in Afghanistan. Even though he's the son of a billionaire, money was tight during this time period.

It's interesting now we have confirmation that the operational commander of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was watching these events unfold live on TV in Karachi, Pakistan. But again I think that's something, if we didn't know for a fact, we certainly probably thought was true already.


Filed under: Osama bin Laden • WikiLeaks
Bin Laden message warns France to pull out of Afghanistan
January 21st, 2011
01:15 PM ET

Bin Laden message warns France to pull out of Afghanistan

A speaker claiming to be terrorism mastermind Osama bin Laden warned in an audiotape aired Friday that the release of two French journalists abducted by militants hinges on France's military role in Afghanistan.

"We repeat the same message to you," said the speaker in an audio tape played on the Al-Jazeera satellite news network. "The release of your prisoners from the hands of our brethren depends on the withdrawal of your soldiers from our countries." FULL POST


Filed under: Osama bin Laden
October 19th, 2010
11:10 AM ET

Opinion: Why U.S. can't find Osama bin Laden

Editor's note: Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst, is a fellow at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank tank, and at New York University's Center on Law and Security. He's the author of "The Osama bin Laden I Know."

American taxpayers have forked over around half a trillion dollars to U.S. intelligence services since the 9/11 attacks, yet nearly a decade after al Qaeda assaults on New York and Washington, the American intelligence community still cannot answer the most basic of questions:

Where is Osama bin Laden? Where is his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri? And where is Taliban leader Mullah Omar?

Read the full story

October 18th, 2010
08:17 AM ET

NATO official: Bin Laden in northwest Pakistan

Kabul, Afghanistan - Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said.

"Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave," said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the intelligence matters involved.

Rather, al Qaeda's top leadership is believed to be living in relative comfort, protected by locals and some members of the Pakistani intelligence services, the official said.

Read the full story from CNN's Barbara Starr


Filed under: Osama bin Laden