http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/20/worldupdates/2009-02-19T235808Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-381074-1&sec=Worldupdates

Thursday February 19, 2009
Tribes could be bin Laden's downfall-ex-spy
By William Maclean

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden will probably be killed or captured when 
some "brave souls" in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area decide to betray 
him, a former senior CIA official said on Thursday.

     
      A video grab from an undated footage from the Internet shows Al Qaeda 
leader Osama bin Laden making statements from an unknown location. 
(REUTERS/REUTERS TV/Files) 
Henry Crumpton, who led the CIA's operations in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 
attacks, said local chiefs sheltering the militant leader were likely to 
abandon him one day due to disenchantment with his agenda and its perceived 
failure to bring a better life.

"I think Osama bin Laden will be captured or killed, and that mostly likely 
will be because of a decision by local authorities," said Crumpton, now a 
private security consultant.

"Local tribal authorities I believe either will generate the intelligence, 
and/or will participate directly in his demise," he said on the sidelines of a 
conference held by the EastWest Institute global security think tank.

The al Qaeda leader has been hiding out since the Sept. 11 attacks against U.S. 
cities. U.S. officials believe he is probably not far from his last reported 
whereabouts, the mountains of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border.

He has defied all efforts to find him despite a $25 million U.S. reward offer.

The possibility of betrayal has been dismissed at times by commentators who say 
Pashtuns, whose lands straddle both sides of the border between the two 
countries, live to a code of honour that demands unfailing hospitality towards 
guests.

But Crumpton said bin Laden would eventually become vulnerable to 
disappointment among his hosts at his perceived failure to bring concrete 
improvements in daily life.

"If you look at bin Laden or al Qaeda all they offer is a tactic of terrorism 
-- they are not offering the local population economic development or 
education. In fact they are destroying it."

"They're just not offering any hope, and I think that people understand that 
and, although intimated and fearful, there will be brave souls (who will act 
against bin Laden) and my guess it that's how he will end."

MISSILE STRIKES

Crumpton, who worked for the CIA as a clandestine officer for more than two 
decades, said the key to persuading local people to deny safe haven to bin 
Laden and his associates was to help them gain a capacity to shape their own 
development.

"Once you have some modicum of security then development must be based on the 
needs of the people. You address issues that the enemy is exploiting, whether 
it is poverty, whether it's lack of education, there's always some unmet 
expectation.

"They won't do development the way America might or the way some of our NATO 
alllies might, they'll have their own way and they'll have a more important 
stake than anyone else. "

Pakistan says one important impediment to the counter-terror effort in the 
lawless tribal regions along the Afghan border is a controversial policy of 
U.S. missile strikes, saying they are a violation of sovereignty.

Pakistan's civilian government and the army have complained that the U.S. 
strikes from Predator drones are counterproductive and have fanned an Islamist 
insurgency across northwest Pakistan.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

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