Saturday, October 30, 2004
Was Osama jealous? "I'm not dead yet!"
Intelligence experts believe Osama Bin Laden was forced to go public after three years in hiding to reassert himself as overlord of the global Islamic jihad ... [and] surmised Bin Laden wants to reestablish his prominence after watching upstart Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi grab the attention in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi's head now carries the same $25 million U.S. bounty.So Osama was maybe feeling his job standing at risk? Slighted that the bounty on him is no longer tops?
"Zarqawi's been sucking up a lot of airtime," said John Pike, a terror expert at GlobalSecurity.org.
SITE Institute Director Rita Katz said it's odd that Bin Laden didn't praise al-Zarqawi, who pledged a loyalty oath to him this month.
Added another top counterterrorism official said, "My best guess is he's trying to regain the limelight." (NYDN)
Or maybe this is a Karl Rove October Surprise production -- more persuasive than producing the bearded man in a prison camp to Teresa's "I told you so."?
Update: They're betting on everything these days...
Asked whether military intelligence officials were surprised that Bin Laden wasn't killed in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, since he hadn't been seen on fresh videotape since the 2001 battle, a Defense Department official said, "Let me ask the guy here who just lost the bet."... and all wagers are settled before we get the official analysis.