Tuesday, August 5
Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, issue of August 4, 2003

Did the government let bin Laden’s trail go cold?

One day this past March, in Langley, Virginia, there was jubilation on a little-known thoroughfare called Bin Laden Lane. Analysts at the C.I.A.’s Counter-Terrorism Center, a dingy warren of gray metal desks marked by a custom-made street sign, were thrilled to learn that, seven thousand miles away, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, colleagues from the agency had helped local authorities storm a private villa and capture Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man believed to be the third most important figure in the Al Qaeda terrorist organization.

At last, the stalled hunt for Al Qaeda fugitives had gained momentum. The authorities in Pakistan had obtained Mohammed’s laptop computer and satellite phone; this breakthrough, they hoped, would help them track down the organization’s leader, Osama bin Laden. Analysts in Washington speculated that news of Mohammed’s capture might even prompt bin Laden into fleeing his current hideout. [...]
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