Wouldbe Osama Hunter Was Closer Than You’d Think


PREVIOUSLY: An American construction worker has been detained in the mountains of Pakistan after authorities there found him carrying a sword, pistol and night-vision goggles on a solo mission to hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden. MORE

UNNAMED FORMER U.S. INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: The guy was looking in the right place, according to my most recent data point. Every once in a while there are reports that crop up — I saw one two weeks ago — that he was hiding in this little Iranian village. I doubt he is. But it’s not as crazy as people think that he might be there. Buried in the 9/11 Report, there is a footnote that talks about how we actually picked up radio signals of the Iranian Quds Force, which is the super elite of the Revolutionary Guard — they’re the people who do the training for Hezbollah, etc. — helped to spirit bin Laden out of Tora Bora. And long before 9/11, the Iranians kept close tabs on Osama bin Laden. It’s unclear whether or not they were helping him, or coordinating anything, but they found him very interesting. They knew where he was, and gary-brooks-faulkner.jpgthey had developed something of a truce with Al Qaeda. So it’s not a crazy idea that bin Laden would go to Iran, but I don’t think he’s there. So it’s very likely that Faulkner was right in Osama’s neighborhood. I think it’s amazing he was up there by himself. To get up into that area from the Pakistan side, you basically go up into Peshawar. The last time I was in Peshawar, we actually went with the Pakistani chief of the general staff, and he didn’t want to go. We flew up in a gunship, and had guards everywhere. We have a consulate up there, and this was right after our consulate got attacked. You just don’t — it’s hostile Indian territory up there — you just don’t go wandering around. Faulkner would have stuck out like crazy, too. You go there alone as an American not so much to kill bin Laden as to get yourself killed. This guy’s risk appetite is off the charts. No government agency is going to send one of their people in on a death-wish hunt like that. We just kind of don’t do the kamikaze thing anymore. MORE

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