Monday, July 08, 2002

Where's Osama?
James S. Robbins asks the question at NRO. Two of my favorite sections:
Controlling the money must be another important concern. This is an organization composed of criminals with vast amounts of untraceable funds, and no accountability. A multimillion-dollar enterprise like this would have a natural propensity to loot itself. The Wall Street Journal's recent revelations of infighting in al Qaeda number-two man Ayman al-Zawahri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad is illustrative. He chastised an underling for buying a $470 fax machine, and the junior terrorist basically responded, "Take this jihad and shove it." My guess is the fax machine went with him. It is reasonable to suspect that some intermediaries in the al Qaeda network who have access to much larger sums of money would abscond with them the moment they knew the CEO had been forced into early retirement.
It would be helpful if bin Laden made his presence among the living unambiguous — for example made a videotape holding a recent newspaper front page, or said something time-dependent like, "I am most gladdened that Allah willed that Germany shut out the United States in the World Cup quarterfinal." Better yet, he could hold a live press conference in a predetermined open-air location surrounded by his closest advisers. That would be a video worth watching, especially the feed from Predator-cam.