Six years on from 9/11, the world’s most wanted man is still daring the United States to catch him if it can. A new internet video has been released which appears to feature the voice of Osama bin Laden. It also contains what is said to be the final message from Walid al-Shehri, one of the September 11th hijackers. The authenticity of the tape is yet to be verified. Coming less than a week after Osama bin Laden’s first video in nearly three years, many experts say al Qaeda looks to be on the rise.
French anti-terrorist expert Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere believes bin Laden wants to reinforce the will of cells scattered across the world: “I think this tape shows yet again that bin Laden has the capacity to move, even when he has the entire world against him, most notably the Americans,” he said. “They have massive resources. This means he still has strong allies. That is the problem,” he says.
Since being linked to the attacks on the US, bin Laden has spent six years on the run. A 50 million dollar bounty has seemingly failed to help uncover any useful information about his whereabouts and extensive searches by US forces in Afghanistan, following the demise of the Taliban, have proved fruitless.
In Kabul, Afghan authorities insist there is no way bin Laden can still be in the country. Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfer Spanta says he has too many enemies and his popularity has eroded. A US intelligence report published in July suggests bin Laden and his cohorts are holed up in tribal zones of Waziristan, close to the Afghan border.
It is thought they may have regrouped in the area, taking advantage of a recent truce between Islamabad and tribal leaders. German intelligence also supports this theory. Berlin claims training camps are operating in Pakistan. But Pakistan denies this and has repeatedly urged Washington to reveal exactly what information it has.