Bin Laden Isolated, Struggling: Hayden

CIA: He's forced to move from place to place, isolated from his terror network
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2008 2:32 AM CST
Osama bin Laden is still free despite a $25 million reward for his capture. The CIA says he is isolated from the day to day operations of al-Qaeda.   (AP Photo/via INTELCENTER)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Seven years after 9/11, terror chief Osama bin Laden remains alive and free, but he's struggling, CIA director Michael Hayden said in a speech yesterday: "He appears to be largely isolated from the day-to-day operations of the organization he nominally heads." Hayden said bin Laden spends much of his time moving from place to place to save his life, and remains isolated from all but a few trusted aides.

"He is putting a lot of energy into his own survival, a lot of energy into his own security,"  Hayden said yesterday. The US launched repeated air strikes the last few weeks along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border aimed at bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders. The CIA director acknowledged that no one quite knows how important bin Laden's leadership is at this point. "This is an organization that has never been through a change at the top," he said. "For 20 years, bin Laden has been the visionary, the inspiration or harmonizing force behind al-Qaeda."