The Meaning of Where Bin Laden Was Killed, and Where Is Zawahiri?

As many intelligence officials suspected, Bin Laden was not living in a cave, but in Abbotabad, a very pleasant and fair-sized city not too far from Islamabad. Very lovely place, very civilized, wonderful climate. Also, a place with a serious military and intelligence presence. I haven't been there in 10 years, but I remember that it did not have a menacing feel, in the manner of Peshawar, which isn't too far away. So many questions:
1) How long was he there?
2) How did he possibly think he could hide his 6'4" self in a city like this?
3) Intelligence analysts believe that Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden's deputy, hasn't been with him for some time, but the thought was always that Bin Laden was more sequestered -- he was a better candidate for cave-dwelling than Zawahiri. Which raises the question: Could Zawahiri be in a place like Rawalpindi, just next door to Islamabad, the capital? After all, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the planner of 9/11, was found in Rawalpindi.

One more thought: Television-based analysts are already asking if the killing of Bin Laden will provoke revenge attacks by al Qaeda. Is there a stupider question in the world? The implication, of course, is that now, al Qaeda will truly be pissed off at the U.S. Unlike in 2001, when al Qaeda was only marginally angry at the U.S.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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