The White House released yesterday a “Progress Report on the War on Terrorism”. The link is to the Washington Times’ summary of the report; it doesn’t seem to be up on the White House’s site and I haven’t had time yet to track it down.
Progress has indeed been impressive. The Taliban is gone, two-thirds of al Qaeda’s top operatives are dead or imprisoned, including almost all of those involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, more than 3,000 suspected al Qaeda members have been detained or killed worldwide, 260 persons have been charged in domestic terrorism investigations, and more than 100 terrorist plots have been disrupted.
The one anomaly is that bin Laden himself apparently remains at large. What seems odd is not that he has escaped capture, but that there is little public evidence of any ongoing attempt to track him down. I am, of course, an inveterate optimist, but I have wondered for some time whether we actually know bin Laden’s whereabouts and have deliberately refrained from pulling him in. The theory would be that by tracking his communications we are led to other al Qaeda leaders. If we are able to find other leaders by monitoring bin Laden’s communications, it would explain the extraordinary success we have had at dismantling the organization’s leadership, combined with our apparent apathy about getting al Qaeda’s leader.
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