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America failed to locate Osama Bin Laden for almost 10 years not because it wasn’t trying hard to find him, or because American intelligence is incompetent. It took so long because the Godfather of Terror was surrounded by many Muslims who would rather protect him with their lives than give him up to America — and no amount of financial reward was going to convince them to give him up.
There is no doubt that many Muslim leaders knew exactly where Osama was hiding — and that it was not in the caves of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but in a huge mansion with very high fences that indicated to the whole neighborhood that someone big was hiding there. Nothing happens in a Muslim country without the knowledge of its intelligence and leadership. Also nothing goes unnoticed in a Muslim neighborhood where people habitually monitor activities on the streets and who comes in or goes out of homes.
Muslim leaders knew very well that their lives were on the line if they handed over Bin Laden to the Americans. They know where the Islamist groups are, where the terrorists train and where their money and support comes from. Support for Al Qaeda and many other jihadist and terrorist groups, even the so-called reformed Muslim Brotherhood which produced Al Qaeda, runs deep in the psyche of many Muslims.
But gradually the love affair of many Muslims with Bin Laden started fading away and other jihadist heroes took his place. That was a signal to the leaders of Pakistan and perhaps other Muslim leaders to go ahead and give him up to the United States since it is now less dangerous for them and perhaps can be used as leverage for some demands from the U.S. government. The calculations for giving up Bin Laden now were much better than before. The capture of Bin Laden also coincided with a sharp decrease in Obama’s popularity — which desperately needed a boost before next year’s elections. The need for America was increased and the fear of Muslim leaders of giving him up was decreased; and so, voila: Bin Laden was killed.
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