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EDITIONS
Monday, 18 November, 2002, 10:16 GMT
Bin Laden: Dead or alive?
A tape broadcast on Arabic television station al-Jazeera proves that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is still alive, according to experts.

A voice on the tape praises attacks in Bali, Kuwait and Yemen and the takeover of a Moscow theatre by Chechen rebels, showing that Bin Laden was still alive last month.

Bin Laden's fate has been the centre of intense speculation since the US launched a bombing campaign against al-Qaeda and the Taleban Government in Afghanistan at the end of 2001.

In July, the FBI's counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, said he felt that Bin Laden was "probably not with us any more" while President George Bush says the new tape's publication is a message that will be taken very seriously.

What do you think? Do the new tapes prove that Osama Bin Laden is alive? Should law enforcement officials provide more evidence before speculating on whether Bin Laden is alive or dead?


This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


They are well acquainted with the sound of his voice

Andy Richards, UK
The CIA will know whether the voice on the tape is Bin Laden's. He was their man in Afghanistan for years so they are well acquainted with the sound of his voice.
Andy Richards, UK

As long as there is no peace between Israel and Palestine terrorism will continue. President Bush and the rest of the Western leaders should force Israel and the Arabs to settle their differences. Attacking Iraq will simply increase tensions between the Muslim world and the West.
Yilmaz Erolgac, Turkey

Of course Bin Laden is alive! If the FBI and the CIA were doing a better job, and if they really wanted to, they would have caught him by now.
Nancy Lupex, New Zealand

He must be dead, that is why the US is demonising Saddam so much, in order that when the news of OBL's death leaks out, the so-called "war on terror" will already have a new scapegoat.
Martin, England, UK

Never underestimate the power of hidden force. Until we are presented with his dead body, he is still alive.
Bob Baio Jr, Japan


He got exactly what he wanted

Jo, USA/UK
I think he's probably still alive and I think he was far away from Afghanistan when the planes hit the Trade Center. Unless his illness has killed him but I certainly don't think that he was killed in Afghanistan and I don't think he is planning to attack again. He got exactly what he wanted, for all of us to leave in fear and never feel safe again. To make the free world feel constantly threatened.
Jo, USA/UK

Isn't it great that we can all debate whether he is alive or not? OBL himself, if alive, doesn't even have the freedom to join us. He must hide. I think there is justice in that.
Peter, USA

The world better listen very carefully to the "voice of terror" that has spoken and is threatening the world with deadly words and actions. Whether the voice is Osama's or not, the threats seem real. It's only a question of time before we know the truth.
Nelson Petronilho, Portugal

I don't think it really matters that much. The damage had already been done. Bin Laden's project of destroying the western world has been taken up by Muslims worldwide. I think terrorism must be countered with terrorism. Infiltrate the enemy and destroy on contact. Think of this as an infection. We don't fire missiles at someone who has cancer - targeted infiltration seems more appropriate. Is there really an effective alternative?
Brian Crabb, UK


Proof that he is dead would create a very powerful martyr figure

Chris, England
If he is dead, Bush and Blair don't want you to know about it. Proof that he is dead, and was killed by American bombs, would create a very powerful martyr figure to inspire further atrocities. It is better that his ultimate fate forever remain a mystery.
Chris, England

If these tapes are authentic, it should be an eye opener for the whole world. The Bush administration has failed to eliminate Bin Laden, and he is still a big threat to the world. I do not see why we should rouse a sleeping tiger like Saddam Hussein, when it is obvious that Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda pose an imminent danger to the United States. The focus should be on al-Qaeda and not waging an untimely war against Iraq.
Roseanne Singer, USA

OK, so Osama Bin Laden, a man we are told has substantial wealth and a substantial following can't get his hands on a camcorder, only a dodgy audio tape recorder? Are we seriously expected to believe this drivel? If Bush & Blair want me to believe he is alive to justify the cost of attacking Iraq, they could at least have the decency to provide pictures. The trouble is that they can't! This may be sufficient evidence for the warmongers amongst us, but not for those of us who require proof.
David Jephcott, United Kingdom


The tape is the first phase of a major, new phase of this conflict

Jim McDonald, Canada
It would be foolish beyond belief to assume that Bin Laden is dead when it is clear that, once more, he is speaking to us and all we in the West do is quibble about marginal issues. The radio message is a clear and direct threat to the countries named in the broadcast. The tape is the first phase of a major, new phase of this conflict which will likely witness a serious attack, probably against the UK, followed by the physical reappearance of the man himself. There is a plan at work here, not just bluster. We should have learned by now that the consequences of underestimating this man and his movement are tragic.
Jim McDonald, Canada

Whether the new tape gives evidence as to Osama being dead or otherwise is for the technical experts to prove. Personally, I would be very surprised to see him alive. However, it is not good for the law enforcement officials to just speculate on his death. That would be a grave mistake for the world. It only amounts to trying to win a psychological war which will prove disastrous if he is later found to be alive.
Prince Anokye, Germany

Hopefully, if he is not dead now, he will be soon. After all, the US excels at technological advancement. That ability is now being directed towards the efficient elimination of terrorists. The elimination of one of Bin Laden's top lieutenants by a hellfire missile fired by a remote-guided plane is only a beginning. The US is even now perfecting laser-based weaponry that can strike with amazing precision and accuracy, capable of destroying an artillery shell in mid-air.
Mark, United States


He is waiting for us to lose vigilance before he attacks again

Steve, UK
Chances are he is still alive. We all know this man is resourceful and intelligent. So why assume that he would sit in Afghanistan and wait for us to come and get him? I think he is hiding in a very remote part of the world waiting for us to lose vigilance before he attacks again.
Steve, UK

He's dead for sure. So too will his followers be soon. Freedom is a power that cannot be overcome once it has been given life, and with freedom there must be justice.
Dan Skapinsky, USA

It doesn't matter whether he is alive or dead. Al-Qaeda members are still alive. Bush is regretting what he brought onto his own hands.
Mohamed Mohamed, New Zealand

Leave Osama alone and concentrate on eliminating the atrocities against the Moslem people.
Syed, Australia

I do not believe a word of it. This is another piece of Pentagon propaganda to cause fear among nations and draw them into an unwanted war. America and Britain have a long record of such manipulation.
Rose Njon, Canada


If the West could bring peace instead of talking up war the Bin Ladens of this world would not have an excuse to retaliate

Dave, Australia
Who cares if he's dead or alive. We are not going to see any peace on this earth, until we can resolve the Middle East situation. Tony Blair has made some interesting speeches regarding this matter but nothing has come of it. If the West could put the same amount of effort into bringing peace instead of talking up war there might just be a ray of hope that the Bin Ladens of this world would not have an excuse to retaliate. I might be dreaming but let's give it a go.
Dave, Australia

Does it really matter? As long as foreign policies in the Middle East are so blatantly unjust to the people of that region, there will be other OBL's.
Bahia, UK

Even if Bin Laden is alive, he is a man on the run and thus not as much of a threat as some of his erstwhile colleagues.
Inna Tysoe, USA

Osama is what the Americans made him to be. He will be dead when the Americans want him to be. Till that time he is serving a purpose for the Americans, so he is alive.
Ashraf T, Pakistan


Bush and co are only fighting one half of the war on terrorism

Afsar, Leeds
Bush and co are only fighting one half of the war on terrorism and losing it badly. To paraphrase the mantra of the Labour government, the war on terrorism should be backed up by war on the causes of terrorism.
Afsar, Leeds

I am sure Bin Laden is alive and well. I also believe if he was involved with 9/11, then chances are he left Afghanistan on 9/10. I do not know of any average criminal who commit a crime, and then go back to his home and await the arrival of Police force. We needed a scapegoat and the American public bought it and Bush is getting popular by each day.
Evan Balasuriya, USA

All this proves the war on terror has failed. The UK and US government must seriously take a different approach to Iraq rather than using war as means to oust Saddam. Just like OBL appears and disappears so will Saddam and his cronies, and thousands upon thousands of innocents will be killed.
Hanif Rehman, UK


He has to be alive

Andrew M, UK
He has to be alive - the only way president Bush can convince the world about disposing of Saddam Hussein is for Bin Laden to be "spotted" in Iraq. Suddenly the whole world will be behind military action.
Andrew M, UK

I'll believe he is alive when we see new video footage of him. Until then I am convinced that these recordings where made by losers desperate to rally the criminal al-Qaeda organisation.
John, San Antonio, Tx, USA

Has it occurred to the tape analysis experts that Bin Laden has close family members, some of whom might share his vocal characteristics, regional accent and speech inflections?
Chris B, England

I find it very hard to believe he is still alive and if so, it's ridiculous how much "Bush's war" has cost without bringing him in. Between his face and these "recordings" showing up at just the right moments, it would seem he's little more than a tool to gain support for a very obscure and questionable war.
Michael, USA

When this all began, people wanted simply to see Osama brought in for justice. Since that time this "war" has been so twisted and distorted that I don't believe any know where it's headed anymore.
Michael, USA


The tape does not convince me

Tim Renfro, USA
The tape does not convince me. He sounds very shaken and does not follow his usually ramblings on about prophecy. The only way I can think he is still alive is that he is in very bad health.
Tim Renfro, USA

Whether Bin Laden is alive or dead is irrelevant. He is just one man. The issues of Muslim suffering he raised to get Muslims to join his cause still remain unsolved and unaddressed. One cannot help thinking how delighted he must be by the policies of the Bush administration who in wanting to attack Iraq are increasing support for extremism and anti-American sentiment across the Muslim world and further increasing the gap between the West and Muslims.
Iqbal Ahmed, UK

My guess is that he is alive but that he was badly injured and disfigured at Tora Bora and that is why he has not allowed any videos.
Tom, USA

Osama Bin Laden may be physically dead, but his message of terror will live on. Dead or alive, he will continue to inspire other attacks on the USA in particular. Therefore, the wise world leader should focus attention on eliminating the conditions that gave rise to people like Osama in the first place.
David, Jamaica

Does it really matter? Even if he is dead, his followers will still think of him as their mentor and abide by his words, his vision and his philosophy, which is to destroy the West or Westerners by acts of terrorism. The hatred against the West by his people will prevail and only time will tell when they will strike next. On the other hand, if Bin Laden is alive or at large, he better not be underestimated at all cost.
Nelson Petronilho, Portugal


I do not have much faith that some atrocity is not going to happen again

Jo, UK
It doesn't matter whether he is dead or not - al-Qaeda and their ideas are very much alive, right in our midst. In the war against terror I think the more pertinent question is do we have a clue what we are doing? I do not have much faith that some atrocity is not going to happen again but I can either get on with life or hide in a bunker for the rest of my life.
Jo, United Kingdom

People's memories are so short - remember the Cold War when both sides needed a war to justify their actions? The Bush administration et al. need OBL to remain in the news because it can justify massive domestic and international political repression. For their part, the al-Qaeda idiots need OBL as a rallying call and sick justification for their actions. US and UK citizens, wake up - your governments are fooling you!
John, UK

It's a good question. There are all sorts of rumours (in India people are sure that "he is hiding in Musharraf's palace itself!") But no one knows for sure, except perhaps certain intelligence agencies. Anyway, we'll find out what's going on when it's safe to know what the army and such are doing. I'm pretty sure he must be making plans if he is alive. Still, he may be al-Qaeda's leader, but even if he dies, another leader will easily take his place and probably make plans as deadly as his, if not more so.
Vijay John, U.S.A.

Ambiguity about whether OBL is dead or alive serves the interest of both sides. For the US he is the personification of who we are fighting against in the war on terror. Without him who are we fighting? For al-Qaeda the possibility of his being alive can show he has outwitted the US. Neither side has any interest in confirming his death.
Peter V, USA

I believe he is dead, simply because someone who was so vociferously urging a global Islamic uprising against the West is highly unlikely to have shut up at the height of hostility and remained silent ever since. I think he's silent because he is dead. Alive, he'd be ranting and raving as much as ever.
NK, UK

Osama Bin Laden is still at large. I believe, if he isn't in another country biding his time, he is well fortified in the mountains of Afghanistan. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. If anyone, the British can find him and destroy this evil man once and for all.
Steve Rogers, United Kingdom

I'm not sure is Bin Laden is dead or alive. I can't speculate on that until I have evidence. I think its a bad idea for the US Government to guess at it. The important thing is as long as Bin Laden is alive in the minds of the terrorists, we are all in danger.
Terrence Rowe, USA

If he was dead al-Qaeda would most certainly be declaring him a great martyr and using his death as a rallying point for Islamic fundamentalists. However, if he is still alive why has he not been recorded? Certainly he would want to taunt the US and the West on his ability to survive and use this as a PR coup. My take is that our elite forces snatched him and we are either holding him incommunicado or just executed him outright.
Steve Suranie, USA

I hope he didn't die. I'm looking forward to seeing him publicly tried, humiliated and demythologized. Then executed. There would be nothing better than to see him in shackles in an orange prison suit.
Mark, USA

I still think that he's alive, simply because there is no evidence to prove otherwise. But I doubt that he will be planning any more attacks for some time to come, the world is too aware of him at the moment.
Matt, UK


The US would not want to admit they had killed him as the repercussions would be undesirable

Nyck Wiseman, UK
The US would not want to admit they had killed him as the repercussions would be undesirable to say the least. Also, he would then become immortalised as a martyr to the "cause" which would be a retrograde step. If the US do nail him, he will be quietly disposed of and no one will ever know. From al-Qaeda's point of view, if he died anything other than a hero, the mystique would also die, don't you reckon?
Nyck Wiseman, UK

Bin Laden is probably alive but even if he were killed I am not sure that it would be a good thing to publicise it. Too many people view the war against terrorism as just eliminating OBL and if he is killed I feel that the work being done to make everybody safer could lose momentum and focus.
Barry, England

I think he is probably alive, he was probably well away from the Tora Bora region before the bombs fell. However, is it really relevant? Whether he is alive or dead the threat of international terrorism still exists. Acts of terrorism were being committed all around the world BEFORE 9/11 and have continued since. Bin Laden was not responsible for all of them, nor was his organisation.
June Simpson, USA/UK

It would be so simple for Osama Bin Laden to prove he is alive. Just a picture of him with a recent newspaper that could be verified as genuine would be good enough. It might suit him to keep people guessing, but it is my guess that he is too scared to want us to think he is alive and does not want his followers to lose heart if he pretends to be dead.
Jim Roper, UK


A person who still enjoys favours among a large number of people is not going to die so easily

Mahavir Dalal, India
I am sure a person who still enjoys favours among a large number of people of certain countries is not going to die so easily. He is still alive and at large, somewhere in the tribal belts of Pakistan or jungle of Indonesia or uninhabited desert of Africa. Keep looking...
Mahavir Dalal, India/USA

There¿s no way he's dead, we're not that lucky.
Steve. L, England

Bin Laden is not dead. He is too rich and clever to be caught. US and UK forces can't even spot an al-Qaeda man let alone catch him. He will surface and when he does it will send shockwaves down the Bush administration.
Owen Anslow, UK

I am almost certain that he is alive and plotting his next attack. But either way there is no way that he will let the Americans lay a hand on him when he is alive. I think if he sees danger is imminent he will kill himself and die as a martyr rather than be caught alive.
Steve, Kenya


He is alive in spirit even if he may be dead physically

Tom Bainbridge, UK
The US has killed so many innocent people in the pursuit of killing Osama. Whether Osama is dead or alive he has already become an icon in a big part of the world. The US will never win this war with brutal force and even that force has failed to show the results that they promised. He is alive in spirit even if he may be dead physically.
Tim Bainbridge, UK

Bin Laden is probably dead, killed by US military operations in Afghanistan. As a result al-Qaeda is almost certainly finished as an organised terror group. Otherwise we would almost certainly have heard from them by now.
Paul, UK

There are many sides to this man, he is cunning and shrewd. Afghanistan is now getting aid from all over the world, and schools and hospitals are being built, and electric and water systems are being installed in what was once a hell-hole. Was this one of his aims?
Phil, England

Osama is not stupid. He wouldn't just stick around is Afghanistan waiting for some one to knock him off. He would have gone long before the attacks occurred.
James, Australia


Many of his companions had said that he was buried in Paktia area

Professor Mukhtar Ali Naqvi, USA
There were reports in December 2001 that Osama died when military action was going on. He was a kidney patient and needed constant medical care. During military operations he did not get any medical help and passed away. Many of his companions had said that he was buried in Paktia area. This news came once only and was suppressed. The countries who want military operations to escalate will never confirm that Osama is dead.
Professor Mukhtar Ali Naqvi, USA

I think that really the Americans wouldn't have any idea on the fate of Bin Laden. For all they know, he could be in their country living amongst them. He really is a dangerous man and is probably planning his next move. Look out world.
Maria Carney, New Zealand

If Osama has been removed then we certainly won't hear about it from Washington for a considerable amount of time. The speculation as to his existence only helps to justify the war on terror and divert attention away from a failing economy and incredulous unaccountable misconducts. Removing the Osamas, Arafats and Husseins of the world is one thing but addressing the core issues that create the discontent is another, because if we fail to take the upper hand then we shall continue to see more of the same.
Jason R. Mead, UK/USA


If he had any sense he would have moved out of Afghanistan as soon as the planes hit the WTC

Kevin, UK
OBL is probably alive, if he had any sense he would have moved out of Afghanistan as soon as the planes hit the WTC. He is probably in Pakistan or one of those countries in the region. The main thing to watch out for is Afghanistan with its current security vacuum there could be more troubles than allied forces can handle.
Kevin, UK

It's futile to speculate on whether he is alive or dead. You can bet that with failing health, a man with that much blinkered drive had himself either cremated, diced or minced. He'd never risk giving 'the infidels' the satisfaction of a confirmed kill. If he is dead, no-one will ever be able to confirm it, but you can bet that another will come along to take his place. So either way, the fight remains the same.
Ronan Foley, Ireland

"The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he did not exist." (From The Usual Suspects.)
Matt Smith, UK

Was Bin Laden in the mountains? Was he among the innocent villagers who were targeted, or a member of the poor wedding party who were bombed? After all this violence against the Afghan people, America should have a greater degree of certainty whether their tactics are working. Killing so many innocent civilians is just settling the score and creating more enemies; this is not justice.
Rich, UK


The threat has not gone

Paul B, Worksop
I think comments that Osama Bin Laden is dead are very negative. If Osama Bin Laden has died people around the world will begin to feel the threat has gone away from his organisation. If he has died his organisation is still spread around the world with a new leader or leaders. But who are they? The threat has not gone; it is still in the world and ready to act.
Paul B, Worksop, UK

I think he's living in South America, with Elvis, Lord Lucan and Martin Bormann. Or something. The one thing I'm sure about is that the conspiracy theorists will have a field day over this.
Peter McFarlane, UK

All this discussion is leading to the formulation and creation of a legend and the myth of Bin Laden. Dead or alive, does it really matter? Has the death of any historical figure meant the death of an idea? Especially an idea that was the direct reactionary result of US foreign policy.
Mark, Australia


I'd like to hear more about some of the other al-Qaeda leaders being hunted down

Patrick, USA
Successive photos of Osama show a steadily decrepit malnourished looking figure. The next strike against the USA will not come from a man so worried about his own rapidly deteriorating health. The next attack will come from one of the other cells spread out amongst the world. I'd like to hear more about some of the other al-Qaeda leaders being hunted down and taken out of action. Don't let 'em catch their breath. Keep 'em running.
Patrick, USA

Bin Laden is certainly alive and well. He will definitely make a comeback after the Americans killed thousands of innocent villagers during their pointless bombing campaigns which served only one purpose: satisfaction for the American public that their government is taking action against terrorists.
Ayman Alzawahari, Kabul, Afghanistan

He is probably alive. Most of the al-Qaeda escaped and there is no reason to believe he did not also. However, the bounty on his head probably prevents him from meeting lots of supporters and operating in the political mode that he was in before.
Roger, USA

Of course he's alive. He's probably walking down a street near you right now. With his millions, he has probably had a shave and got a new ID. Anyone in his right mind would not be hanging out in Pakistan, where he's at risk of being sold out. No, he's living quietly at the Savoy or somewhere similar.
John A. Carter, New Zealand


Mr Watson's statement was made in the hope of provoking a public response

John W, USA
I think that OBL is alive and that no one in the intelligence services in the West has a clue as to his whereabouts. Mr Watson's public statement was made in the hope of provoking a public response of some sort. A response from which they could possibly glean useful information. A simple tactic.
John W, USA

Until we have definite proof that Bin Laden is dead, we should all assume that he is still plotting. It would be foolish to act otherwise. Even then, there will always be threats of this kind while Terrorism is not dealt with seriously. There are plenty more 'Bin Ladens' in this world yet.
Tez, England

I'm sure he is alive and will be being discovered every five to 10 years for the next century. I know a journalist who is convinced he is living in part of an old Russian barracks here in Wroclaw.
Ian, Poland, Ex UK


A person with kidney failure needs constant dialysis in order to live

Gene, USA
Bin Laden probably did die. A person with kidney failure needs constant dialysis in order to live. It would be difficult or impossible for him to get that while on the run. If he is dead or not his followers are still dangerous and we need to stay alert.
Gene, USA

Well the truth is I think for the Western powers that Bin Laden's mystery status is exactly what they want. I mean, if he were captured and imprisoned there would most likely be increased terrorist activity by his supporters in attempts to free him. Then on the other hand if he was dead he would become a martyr to his followers and so inspire more terrorist attacks that way. So it is far better for everyone that his status remains unknown for all of us.
David, UK

It seems a dangerous assumption to make. Surely assuming he's alive and planning would be the more astute view to take. Surely the lessons of the recent past should point to erring on the side of caution
Neil, UK


The current speculation could be just what Bin Laden is banking on

Tom Nickalls, Peru
It is standard practice for self styled revolutionary leaders to cultivate an aura of mystery and speculation as to whether they are alive or dead. I was here in Peru when Abimael Guzman, the Shining Path leader hadn't been filmed or photographed for years. Later on he suddenly showed up again, benefiting from the impression that he had returned from the dead. The current speculation could be just what Bin Laden is banking on. Does anyone doubt that if he shows up after so long, his followers will claim it is a miracle. He may be dead but we shouldn't be surprised if he isn't.
Tom Nickalls, Peru

Bin Laden has more brains than to stay in Afghanistan, so of course he isn't dead. We can only hope that one day soon he will be.
James, England


It's a lot harder to kill an idea than a man

Scott W, USA
We should be so lucky. Even if he is, the war will go on for a long time. It's a lot harder to kill an idea than a man.
Scott W, USA

I'm pretty sure he's alive and well. Even if he's dead this conflict is not over for either side. Al-Qaeda could be anywhere, which is quite sad and ultimately terrifying.
John Ferguson, USA

If Osama believes in his cause as much as he obviously does, he will ensure things don't fall apart if he dies.
Jon, UK


I fear we'll get our evidence soon enough

Matt, USA
I fear we'll get our evidence soon enough - the next time al-Qaeda kills innocent people, which will happen. If he lives, Bin Laden will be there to gloat.
Matt, USA

Osama Bin Laden professed to all his followers that they should valiantly stand up to the evil Western infidels in the name of their beliefs, and fight to the death if necessary. Given that he himself then cowers in caves, never to be seen facing the enemy in person, I can see no more fitting a demise for him than to become another faceless corpse buried under a mountain somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The man has been a hypocrite since day one and deserves to die like one.
Alex, UK

The US and the rest of the world should rebuild and we should all get on with our lives. Whether Bin Laden is alive or not is the least of our worries, all we need to do is ready ourselves to fight against terror.
Damon, USA

OBL is a clever man. So far, he has proved that. Is he dead? Only he and those close to him, know the answer to that. We have to wait and find out.
Tom Crown, USA

He's probably dead. I don't think, with his ego, that he could have waited this long to make another video if he was alive. It doesn't really matter anyway. If he's not dead now, he'll be dead or captured soon enough.
Denise, USA


I wouldn't be at all surprised if he resurfaced one day

John, USA/UK
I think he probably is dead because he hasn't gloated on video in quite some time. However, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he resurfaced one day. It doesn't matter if he's dead or alive, the American press is doing a fantastic job keeping the US population in fear and panic. Every time you turn on the news, there's yet another 'good' idea on how to bomb America and what will be targeted next.
John, USA/UK

If Bin Laden is dead, it's only one head from the al-Qaeda monster. But does it really matter now anyway? Can we find him either way? And how do we extract justice from someone who believes every move the West makes is based on evil anyway. I think he is just being used as an excuse now.
Jim Ellis, UK

What difference does it make? In life he is a leader, in death he is a martyr.
Keith Hartwell, UK


It's over for al-Qaeda

Roy, UK
I think OBL is dead. There have been no more serious threats. Al-Qaeda have caused all the damage they are going to, and now I think it's over for them.
Roy, UK

How are we supposed to make judgements based on vague propaganda from two sides renowned for their deception and arrogance?
Mason, UK

If the speculation was courtesy of US "intelligence" agencies, we shouldn't even bother paying much attention to it.
Ben M, UK

Osama Bin Laden is probably currently alive and well, living in Wisconsin or Omaha in some equivalent of a witness relocation programme. The US looks after its former enemies.
Ian King, UK

He looked okay in that Eminem video.
J, UK


There would be nothing nicer than to see him face trial in New York

Mal, UK
I hope he's not dead. There would be nothing nicer than to see him captured and then face trial for murder in New York.
Mal, UK

It's coming up to a year since the devastation, and the USA is not sure if he is dead or alive? The US claims to have the technology to see a 10p coin from space. Surely they can find a fully grown human being. The talk of the CIA and the FBI not sharing information is just pathetic. To defend your country properly you need to have one unified team and one unit. It seems that the CIA and FBI are racing against each other to claim victory on the war on terror.
Sandeep Matharu, UK

The US special forces could easily have killed and buried him and denied all knowledge of it. Al-Qaeda are proven liars anyway so they could be saying he's alive and well and have no real knowledge of where he is.
Rob, Seattle, USA

If he is alive, the best place for him to hide would be somewhere in the West, as no one would believe it was him.
Sam Wren, England

I think the area to watch is the tribal band in Pakistan. The US and the Pakistanis will probably end up fighting a prolonged ground war in this area against al-Qaeda. It seems like the US is readying itself for a big offensive, once they have built up the courage to take serious casualties. As for Osama Bin Laden, I think he's still alive.
Zafar, England


Let's deal with that when we have some evidence

Tommy, USA
He may be dead but let's deal with that when we have some evidence. We all should have better things to think about than trying to figure out whether he is dead or alive. He's a coward and even if he is alive, may death be his destiny in the very near future.
Tommy, USA

I'll believe it when I see his corpse displayed for the world's press.
Daniel, UK

We'll never know whether OBL is dead or alive. If he's alive and shows himself enough to prove it, he'll be dead very quickly. He's not likely to do that. If he's dead, his body will not be found - the US does not want the finality of a corpse to put a full stop on the end of this conflict. All we'll ever get will be hazy statements from either side, with nothing definite. It's not in anyone's interest to be sure.
James, London, UK

No chance. He is still out there and planning his next move. Anyway if he is dead has it made the world a safer place? I very much doubt it.
Bob, UK

It doesn't matter now if he is dead or alive, what is really important is that al-Qaeda and other organisations are alive and kicking and I think all members of all terrorist organisations have the potential to become the next Bin Laden. So the world should start wiping them out.
Kiren, USA

Osama is someone who courts the limelight and the media. It would be totally out of character for him not to use this opportunity to gloat at his enemies and their failure to catch him. I would therefore conclude that he is either dead or is too seriously wounded to make an appearance on TV. The statements by officials might be a ruse to goad Osama into proving them wrong, as al-Qaeda relies heavily on propaganda for its own support and morale.
Jamie, UK


Speculating about Bin Laden's whereabouts or wellbeing is pointless

Pete, England
Does it matter? Al-Qaeda is self directing anyway, whether he is dead or alive is meaningless. It will continue with or without its figurehead. Speculating about Bin Laden's whereabouts or wellbeing is pointless.
Pete, England

So that must mean that the war is probably over then, phew that's a relief! Victory is ours.
Mark Adams, England

I think Bin Laden's already dead and I think the Americans know it too. It just gives them an excuse to continue on into Iraq and bomb that country too.
Seb Harvey, UK

I think Osama Bin Laden must have been squashed like a bug when bombs fell on the Tora Bora region.
William, Canada

I do believe he is still at large, and we all better watch out.
Danny Rwagasana, Rwanda

 VOTE RESULTS
Bin Laden:

Dead
 26.24% 

Alive
 73.76% 

3754 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

18 Jul 02 | South Asia
15 Jul 02 | Europe
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