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    12 September 2007

    Ignoring bin Laden equals ignoring a "dangerous terrorist threat"

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    On Sunday President Bush's homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend claimed that Osama bin Laden was "virtually impotent," on the run and in a cave. Similar conclusions have been made by Ann Coulter and president Bush.

    Despite these assertions, highly placed government officials reaffirmed Monday that "Osama bin Laden remained the most dangerous terrorist threat to the United States." Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told a Senate committee that eliminating the threat of bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders as well as their sanctuary on the Afghan-Pakistan border the United States "number one priority."

    Furthermore, the US focus on Iraq and the inability of Pakistan to confront al Qaeda and its allies has given bin Laden several advantages. According to U.S., Afghan and Pakistani officials and experts, bin Laden has been able "to secure safe harbor in the tribal area of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, rebuild al Qaida's inner circle, train a new generation of jihadis and expand ties to Middle Eastern and North African terrorist groups." This space has allowed the propaganda wing of al Qaeda, the as-Sahab Media Institute, to increase its production output from 16 videos in 2005, to 74 so far in 2007. This rate has doubled from 1 video every 6 days in 2006 to "an average rate of one every three days or so" in 2007.

    Baselessly discounting bin Laden's importance to the 'War on Terror' ignores the sober assessments of our top intelligence officials, provides leeway for an "impotent" terrorist leader and his organization to talk to the world and marks down the significance of the man who killed so many 6 years ago today.

    Posted by Geoff

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