Pakistan Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said Monday his intelligence agencies believe Osama bin Laden may be dead, but he added there is no proof. Other Pakistani officials and a U.S. counterterrorism official said they thought the al-Qaida chief is alive.
U.S. officials said bin Laden is most likely hiding in the mountains along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, in particular the lawless tribal regions.
“We continue to believe that bin Laden is alive,” said the U.S. official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter on the record.
Reports of bin Laden’s death or of near-captures have punctuated his years on the run since the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S., only to be seemingly debunked by periodic audio and video recordings.
The latest recordings emerged in March, in which bin Laden referred to the December-January Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, calling it a “holocaust,” and spoke of the January election of Somalia’s U.N.-backed president, calling for him to be overthrown.