Gates: 'Bin Laden Hunt Like Finding Unabomber'

Defense secretary says finding fugitives a lot harder than it looks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2009 5:22 AM CDT
Osama bin Laden smiles in Afghanistan in this undated photo. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says finding the terror mastermind could take as long as the 17-year hunt for the Unabomber.   (AP Photo, File)
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(Newser) – Finding the bad guys isn't as easy as it looks in the movies, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday. Gates compared the hunt for Osama bin Laden with federal agents' 17-year search for the Unabomber, and suggested the same time frame may be similar in the quest to locate al-Qaeda hideouts in the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands, Reuters reports.

"To a certain extent, I think too many people go to too many movies,” Gates said. “Finding these guys is really hard, and especially if they have some kind of a support network “ Gates denied that the failure to find bin Laden so far meant anything was amiss, and said some serious damage had been done to al-Qaeda in recent months.