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

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/the-meaning-of-where-bin-laden-was-killed-and-where-is-zawahiri/238114/