How close was it for Osama? This close:
PREVIOUSLY unseen footage of Osama Bin Laden taken by a CIA spy drone reveals how close the Americans came to killing the Al-Qaeda leader two years before the September 11 attacks.
The pictures were filmed by a Predator unmanned aircraft and show Bin Laden, in white robes, with a small group of followers at a training camp near Khost in eastern Afghanistan at the end of 1999. The drone was one of the first to be used in Afghanistan by the CIA, but because of bureaucratic wrangles it was unarmed.
The pictures, thought to be the first spy plane footage of Bin Laden to be published, have been obtained from American sources by Al-Jazeera, the Arabic language television station. “We had no doubt over his identity. Bin Laden can clearly be seen standing out from the rest of the group next to the buildings,” said Michael Scheuer, a former CIA officer who headed Alec Station, the agency’s unit which tracked Bin Laden during the 1990s.
I can’t help but think he is dead by now. Wouldn’t we have heard from him.