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CIA: Bin Laden still in Pakistan

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Sure he is. Never mind that Le Figaro reported he was being met by American agents in 2000 on his sickbed, suffering from serious health complications related to his kidney disease, and never mind that he was himself a long time CIA asset with the code name Tim Osman. Better just bomb Pakistan back to the Pliocene to make sure we get the bogeyman.

Flashback: Al-Qaeda Chief In Iraq: Captured, Killed, Never Actually Existed, Now Captured Again | IntelCenter Releases Video of Former CIA Employee Zawahiri Threatening America | Delta Force Officer: We Weren’t Allowed to Kill Osama Bin Laden | National Post Columnist: Who dares to question the ‘Big Lie of 9/11′? | U.S. Intel Officer: Al Qaeda Leadership Allowed To Operate Freely in Pakistan | US Experts Can’t Agree on Whether ‘Al-Qaeda’ Poses a Threat, Look to ‘Leaderless Jihad’ in America | Benazir Bhutto: Bin Laden Murdered | 9/11 – the big cover-up? | New Bin Laden Video: 100% Forgery | U.S. Government Caught Red-Handed Releasing Staged Al-Qaeda Videos | Swiss scientists 95% sure that Bin Laden recording was fake

CBC News
June 11, 2009

WASHINGTON — The CIA believes Osama bin Laden is still in Pakistan, and the spy agency is hoping to close in on him as that country’s military cracks down on the northwestern tribal area where he is thought to be hiding.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told reporters after a speech on Capitol Hill today that finding bin Laden remains one of the CIA’s top priorities.

“I guess one of our hopes is that as Pakistani military moves in, combined with our operations, we may have a better chance to get at him,” Panetta said.

The Central Intelligence Agency has increased the number of officers and recruited agents, or locals who provide information, in Pakistan, Panetta said.

“We have a number of people who are on the ground in Pakistan who are helping us provide targets and who are helping us provide the information that we really need to go after Al Qaeda,” he said.

He said the Pakistani offensive in the Swat Valley is making very good progress compared to Pakistan’s past efforts to crack down on extremists. The Pakistan military says it has killed more than 1,300 militants during the offensive and reclaimed most of the region.

Past offensives against Islamist militants often faltered, with the government choosing to strike peace agreements with the extremists. A peace deal in Swat collapsed in April after the Taliban advanced from there into nearby Buner, just 60 miles from the capital, Islamabad.

Panetta said the CIA is mindful that as it makes progress in Pakistan, Al Qaeda leaders could transfer their sights to safe havens elsewhere, such as Yemen and Somalia, which have large ungoverned territories.

Panetta also hinted that the Obama administration is crafting a new approach to confront both North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear program.

“The approach that we take to deal with North Korean nuclear development will send a very important signal to Iran in how we deal with them,” Panetta said after a speech to the National Italian American Foundation.

He declined to provide details.

North Korea conducted its second underground nuclear test in May. The blast came less than two months after the North fired an intermediate-range rocket over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. Though North Korea claimed it launched a satellite into space, the U.S. and other countries believe it was meant to test ballistic missile technology.

Iran is reported to be developing the fissile material and missile to fuel and launch a nuclear warhead, but has not yet detonated an atomic bomb. [Ed. Note: Reported by whom... the US's own National Intelligence Review determined it had stopped working on offensive nuclear technology in 2003] It launched a small satellite into space earlier this year, making progress on technology that could be applied to an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The CIA is closely monitoring the Iranian presidential election to take place Friday. Panetta said current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad still has the edge, especially in rural areas, and is favoured by Iran’s religious ruler, but other candidates appear to be gaining ground after a public debate.

“We’re sensing now there is some momentum for opposing candidates,” he said.

Panetta also said the CIA will spend nearly $250 million in the next five years to double the number of intelligence officers that are proficient in a foreign language. Less than a third of CIA analysts and overseas spies are proficient in a foreign language, according to the agency.

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