The fact is that the man we recently saw on the videotape, may be bin Laden himself or his double! How would you know? Some sources propagated the idea that there are no less than four doubles of the same man! If such “clones” exist, where on earth have they vanished? Maybe it is not easy to find a single man, but what about the four others? Not a clue? This is then a legend that circulated widely in the world. Behind it was indubitably the same man. The un-anesthetic, insolvent, yet ethereal bin Laden!

Again, nothing proves that he has fled Afghanistan. At this very hour, when everybody is looking for him under each stone of the Afghan mountains, he might very well be sheltered somewhere on the same land, at the nose of the American soldiers! After all, this is not the first time they failed to reach him. Bob Woodward and Thomas E. Ricks have reported how the CIA in 1999 secretly trained and equipped approximately 60 commandos from the Pakistani intelligence agency to enter Afghanistan for the purpose of capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. ” The operation”, they say ” was arranged by then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his chief of intelligence with the Clinton administration, which in turn promised to lift sanctions on Pakistan and provide an economic aid package.”

Men like Cuba’s Castro, or Libya’s Kaddafi, or the late Syria’s Assad, or all the Palestinian leaders with Arafat é America’s new friend! – at the top of the list, not to say anything of the Russians, the Chinese, and of so many Asiatic, or African “damned” é like Mandela é who, at some period were not acceptable to the American establishment.

This is neither to justify their behavior nor to belittle America’s power, but just to put politics in the sphere of men’s relative acts. In our time, so many naive people are prone to believe that political actions belong to eternity. Thus, their leaders are kind of half-gods, or saints, or supermen! Mr. Bush himself talked about a “crusade” against Taliban, then retreated and explained that he did not mean it in the religious sense, which almost everybody in the Islamic world have understood. Yet, we can observe that some players put the strain on the “religious nature” of some political conflicts. To follow them on this ground is to embark for an endless trip across a dark tunnel leading nowhere, but to a blind chaos.

An ex-adviser to Pakistani Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, wrote: ” if US strikes bring the Taliban regime down but fail in getting their real target, the terrorist network and its alleged leader, it would be only a spurious victory.” [3] In one meeting, says the report, a bin Laden associate claimed to have nuclear material and wanted to use it to make a ” dirty bomb”, also known as ” the poor man’s nuke”. Mr. David Albright, of the Institute for Science and International Security, declared: ” It’s within the reach of many, many groups to fashion a dirty bomb”!

Now, what if al-Qaeda owns such a nuke? Where would bin Laden go with it?

A recent article of the Times tries to answer partially the second question. Pakistan, Kashmir, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and even Saudi Arabia are mentioned as possible destinations. In all these countries and in others as well, bin Laden may find supporters indeed. But to find a sanctuary is perhaps more difficult, at least momentously. Thus, in Pakistan ” several Taliban leaders have already sought refuge, with the tacit support of elements in the Pakistani Intelligence services”. [5], the effect of the order was to ban U.S. financial transactions with bin Laden’s organizations and to allow U.S. law enforcement to freeze any bin Laden assets in the United States that can be identified. The order also named bin Laden as an SDT (: Specially Designated Terrorist), along with Rifai Taha Musa, of the Egyptian Islamic Group, and Abu Hafs al-Masri (Mohamed Atef). Atef and the guerilla leader Ayman al-Zawahiri were indicted with bin Laden on November 4, 1998 for the Kenya/Tanzania bombings.

The question is therein: How come that Mr. Clinton’s Executive Order has never been executed? For if it has, what is the point of making Mr. Bush issue another quite similar decision?

We can find a relative answer in the aforementioned CRS report, which says in a paragraph entitled “blocked assets”: ” No assets have been firmly linked to bin Laden, in the United States or elsewhere, and hence none are frozen at this time, according to the Treasury Department’s report on terrorist assets for 2000.” Notes:

Washington Post: Oct.3, 2001.B.Woodward and T.E. Ricks. U.S. was foiled multiple times in efforts to capture bin Laden or have him killed.

The Nation: Oct. 27,2001. Hussain Haqqani. Focusing on the Enemy.

MSNBC: Bin Laden has nuke know-how. December 20,2001.

The Times (of London): Dec.20, 2001. Richard Beeston. Bin Laden looks for sanctuary in a hostile world.

CRS Report for Congress: Kenneth Katzman.Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2001. (September 10,2001).