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US And Pakistan Deny Osama Surrounded

Reuters has an article based on info from American and Pakistani military sources:

U.S., Pakistan Deny They're Closing in on Osama By Mike Collett-White and David Brunnstrom KABUL/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden's whereabouts remain a mystery to U.S. and Pakistani forces as they crank up efforts to flush out al Qaeda and Taliban rebels hiding near Afghanistan's eastern frontier, officials said on Monday.

U.S. military officials in Kabul have boldly predicted his capture in 2004, and Britain's Sunday Express weekly reported that the world's most wanted man was "boxed in" by U.S. and British special forces in the rugged Pakistani mountains along the Afghan border.

The newspaper said bin Laden was within a 10 mile by 10 mile area, being monitored by a U.S. spy satellite.

"As far as the reports of Osama bin Laden's location, I don't take much credence in them because if we knew where he was in Afghanistan, we would go get him and if the Pakistanis knew where he was in Pakistan they would go get him," U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan Hilferty said...

I agree with him. If we knew where he was (with his operators), we would be on him like Michael Moore on a donut.

But then, the Australian says that the Pakistanis are closing on Al Qaeda:

Pakistan admits terror hunt

PAKISTAN has conceded it is stepping up its hunt for Osama bin Laden and other al-Qa'ida fugitives, massing thousands of troops along its border with Afghanistan to try to pin them down.

More than 8000 paramilitary soldiers have taken up positions in South Waziristan, a semi-autonomous tribal region that has become a sanctuary for al-Qa'ida and Taliban rebels. More than 4000 regular troops are deployed in the area.

American troops have also stepped up activities across the border in the Afghan provinces of Khost, Paktia and Paktika. However, Pakistani officials denied reports that American soldiers would also be participating in the offensive inside Pakistan.

CIA director George Tenet visited Islamabad in secret last week to discuss the joint operation with senior officials.

Lieutenant-General David Barno, the top US officer in Afghanistan, said he hoped Pakistan's efforts, combined with a change in US counter-insurgency tactics in Afghanistan, would create a "hammer-and-anvil" effect to trap al-Qa'ida fighters between US and Pakistani forces.

Seriously, if we (or the Pakistanis) got bin Laden, I would take the day off and celebrate. It would be a good day.

So, are we closing in on him or not? Probably not. As some of you have pointed out, these stories could be leaks designed to cause more communications amongst Al Qaeda - which would give us more intercept opportunities.