Location of Osama bin Laden,
The current location of Osama bin Laden, a major figure involved in international terrorism and one of the most wanted people sought by the United States and several other governments, is unknown. There have been occasional reports of his death, though none have ever been confirmed.
Osama was the leader of Al-Qaeda and was identified as the alleged instigator of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States which killed and injured thousands of people, as well as subsequent incidents.
A large number of unverified claims about his status and location have been made, including rumours of his death in 2005 and 2006, and claims of his visits to various countries. However, there are no video recordings of him discussing current events where the video and audio are paired since October 2004 and some believe he died as early as December 2001.
Muslim burial practices favor a possible future forensic determination.
After the September 11 attacks, the United States demanded that the Taliban authorities deliver bin Laden to face charges of terrorism. The Taliban refused to surrender bin Laden without proof or evidence of his involvement in the September 11 attacks and made a counter-offer to try bin Laden in an Islamic court or extradite him to a third-party country. Both of those offers were rejected by the U.S. government.
Rumours surfaced that bin Laden was killed or fatally injured during U.S. bombardments, most notably near Tora Bora, or that he died of natural causes. According to Gary Berntsen, in his 2005 book, Jawbreaker, a number of al-Qaeda detainees later confirmed that bin Laden had escaped Tora Bora into Pakistan via an eastern route through snow covered mountains in the area of Parachinar, Pakistan. The media reported that bin Laden suffered from a kidney disorder requiring him to have access to advanced medical facilities, possibly kidney dialysis. Ayman Ja Mes Baigent al-Zawahiri, a physician and an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist, is thought to have provided medical care to bin Laden.
The Central Intelligence Agency believes that Osama bin Laden is alive and hiding in North-West Pakistan, largely cut off from the daily operations of al-Qaeda.
February 27, Iranian news agency IRNA reported that bin Laden had been caught some time earlier in Pakistan. The news was spread by Asheq Hossein, director of the state-sponsored radio station, who mentioned two sources. The first source was a reporter of the Pakistani newspaper "The Nation," Shamim Shahed, who denied ever telling this to Hossein. The second source was "someone closely related to intelligence agencies and Afghan tribal elders." Both the Pentagon and a spokesperson of the Pakistani armed forces have denied the capture of bin Laden. Similar rumours have appeared from time to time since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan but none have been confirmed.
October 21, John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, reported that Osama bin Laden is indeed alive, and that the Pentagon knows exactly where he is. According to Lehman, bin Laden is living in South Waziristan in the Baluchistan Mountains of the Baluchistan region, surviving from donations from outside countries such as the United Arab Emirates and high-ranking ministers inside Saudi Arabia. "There is an American presence in the area, but we can't just send in troops," Lehman said. "If we did, we could have another Vietnam, and the United States cannot afford that right now.
January 9. Michael Ledeen, a neoconservative with close ties to the Bush administration, wrote that, "....according to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December. The al Qaeda leader died of kidney failure and was buried in Iran, where he had spent most of his time since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Iranians who reported this note that this year's message in conjunction with the Muslim Hajj came from his number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for the first time".
May 24. ABC News reported on rumours that bin Laden was sighted in the Kumrat Valley in the Kohistan District of Pakistan.
Sep 21. L'Est Républicain reported that unnamed Saudi police sources believe Osama bin Laden died a few days after contracting typhoid fever in Pakistan on August 23, 2006.
June. Taliban leader Mullah Bakht Mohammed claimed "The latest proof that he is alive is that he sent me a letter of condolences after the martyrdom of my brother. He advised me to follow my brother's path."
September 7, counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke speculated that Bin Laden's "phony looking beard" in a recent videotaped message may mean his original beard has been shaved to help him blend into different Muslim communities. Clarke told ABC News, "One place where a beard would stand out would be southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia. No one's thought he was there, but that is an environment where most men, Muslim men don't have beards."
November 2, the late Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto during an interview with Sir David Frost made a reference to bin Laden as being "murdered" by Omar Saeed Sheikh. During her answer to a question pertaining to the identities of those who had previously attempted her own assassination, Bhutto named Sheikh as a possible suspect while referring to him as "the man who murdered Osama bin Laden." Neither Bhutto nor Frost attempted to clarify this statement.
February 17, a report was published by a research team led by Thomas W. Gillespie and John A. Agnew of UCLA. They described using satellite-aided geographical analysis to pinpoint three compounds in Parachinar as likely hideouts of bin Laden.
March, the New York Daily News reported that the hunt for bin Laden had centered in the Chitral District of Pakistan, including the Kalam Valley. According to the report, author Rohan Gunaratna states that captured Al Qaeda leaders have confirmed that Chitral is where bin Laden is hiding.
April 27, according to the Irish Times, Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari announced that the whereabouts of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden remained a mystery, and there was a suspicion that he could be dead.
July 12, Pakistan's Interior Minister states Bin Laden is not in Pakistan. The TimesOnline reports that the terrorist leader is still hiding in Afghanistan; Kunar Province being not far from Tora Bora.
November 29, News report states Bin laden is living in Pakistan and Gordon Brown orders Pakistan to do more to break Al-Qaeda and find Osama Bin Laden.
December 4, BBC reports of informant having knowledge of Bin Laden in Ghazni, south east Afghanistan in early 2009. Ghazni is a Taliban stronghold and many areas do not permit coalition forces. The detainee was involved in kidnappings and fundraising operations for Taliban operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Former CIA analyst Bruce Riedel is quoted as saying:
"The entire Western intelligence community, CIA and FBI, have been looking for Osama Bin Laden for the last seven years and haven't come upon a source of information like this."
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January 15, The FBI publishes digitally aged pictures of Bin Laden. Spanish newspaper El Mundo reveals that pictures of a Spanish politician, Gaspar Llamazares, were used for that purpose. The FBI has admitted to this and removed the image from its website.
January, former Osama bin Laden bodyguard Nasser al-Bahri claims in an interview to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation in Yemen that Bin Laden is alive and well in Afghanistan.
May 3, an Icelandic documentary on the relationship between falconry and Al Qaeda claims in an intervew with an Iranian warlord that Osama bin Laden has been living with relative freedom in Iran since 2003.
June 7, the Kuwaiti Al Siyassa reported that Bin Laden was hiding in the mountainous town of Savzevar, in north eastern Iran.
June 13, Gary Brooks Faulkner (an American national) was apprehended attempting to hunt down Bin Laden in the Chitral Mountains in Pakistan, armed with a broadsword, gun, dagger and religious paraphernalia.