January 21, 2003

Now That's Fanaticism Well, it

Now That's Fanaticism

Well, it turns out that bin Laden may have escaped the American dragnet in Tora Bora simply by handing off his cell phone to a lackey. Don't believe me? Well, it's right here. Try to ignore the fact that bin Laden's snarled face graces the top of the page. I swear, if I ever see that man's face again, it had better have a hefty spear through it. At least then I could stomach looking at the man. Seriously, any time I see footage of the towers crumbling, and then I see bin Laden, I literally want to attack the screen and rake that bastard's eyes from his sockets. Anyhoooooo. . .

RABAT, Morocco, Jan. 21 — With U.S. forces closing in on him during the battle of Tora Bora in late 2001, Osama bin Laden employed a simple feint against sophisticated U.S. spy technology to vanish into the mountains that led to Pakistan and sanctuary, according to senior Moroccan officials.

It's one of the dangers of today's high technology world: we sometimes become so dependant on it, we forget some of our most basic human skills, like information gathering. Spy technology has its place, yes, but we can't simply dispose of good old fashioned human spy work.

A MOROCCAN who was one of bin Laden's longtime bodyguards took possession of the al Qaeda leader's satellite phone on the assumption that U.S. intelligence agencies were monitoring it to get a fix on their position, said the officials, who have interviewed the bodyguard, Abdallah Tabarak. Tabarak moved away from bin Laden and his entourage as they fled; he continued to use the phone in an effort to divert the Americans and allow bin Laden to escape. Tabarak was captured at Tora Bora in possession of the phone, officials said.

BIN LADEN: Tabarak, here, take my phone!

TABARAK: No, you take it! I don't want to hold on to that missile magnet. Are you crazy?

BIN LADEN: Tabarak, I must live in order that I may continue the struggle against the Americans and their filthy Western ideals and technologies. Now, take my Qualcomm cellular phone and move away from me so I don't get splattered with your blood when the American satellites zero in on my phone's position and infidel missiles are launched.

TABARAK: This is sooo not what I signed up for.

But now, ladies and gentlemen, we get to the most wonderful part of the article, the part that just left me laughing for ten minutes.

"He agreed to be captured or die," a Moroccan official said of Tabarak. "That's the level of his fanaticism for bin Laden. It wasn't a lot of time, but it was enough. There is a saying: ‘Where there is a frog, the serpent is not far away.' "

What the hell are those Moroccans smoking? "He agreed to be captured or die. That's the level of his fanaticism for bin Laden." Well, excuse me, but what the hell else were his options? Hmmmm, I could be captured, or I could die. I guess I'll choose captured.

TABARAK: You'll never take me alive, you infidel scum!! Actually, that doesn't sound so bad after all! I'm coming out now, because I don't want to die! I am giving you permission to capture me!

Yeah, that's definite fanaticism there. Forget going down in a massive firefight to protect bin Laden's cell phone. Tabarak wisely chose to be captured instead.

More than a year later, Tabarak, 43, has established himself as the "emir" or camp leader of the more than 600 suspected al Qaeda and Taliban members being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to senior officials here who have visited the military compound twice to interview Moroccan citizens.

I guess being the leader of a prison full of inmates entails a certain amount of prestige, but he's still just a common prisoner. Let him claim all the titles he wants, I guess, so long as he's safely behind a mesh of razor wire.

Some of the prisoners, by symbolically holding daylong fasts on the orders of Tabarak, have maintained some semblance of a command structure in defiance of U.S. attempts to isolate and break them, Moroccan officials said.

I wonder if they'd hold Tabarak in such high regard if they knew about his "die or be captured" standoff.

Tabarak, also known as Abu Omar, is respected even more because he helped bin Laden escape, the official said. The ploy involving the satellite phone is widely known and celebrated among the prisoners at the military prison, now called Camp Delta.

It's kind of sad to think that playing hot potato with a cellular phone constitutes a great victory.

INMATE #1: Hey, remember that great story about Tabarak taking bin Laden's phone to throw off the Americans?

INMATE #2: Yeah, that is a great story, and it is one that will be told for generation to come. Long live bin Laden!

INMATE #1: Um, yeah, so what do you want to do for the rest of the day?

INMATE #2: I don't know. I guess we could fast or something.

INMATE #1: Hey, that could be fun. But, nah, I did that yesterday. Besides, the American infidels are feeding us chicken cordon bleu today. I don't want to miss that.

INMATE #2: That right. I guess I won't fast either.

*ten minute break in conversation*

INMATE #1: Hey, remember that great story about Tabarak taking bin Laden's phone to throw off the. . .

INMATE #2: Yeah, yeah. I've heard it.

Posted by Ryan at January 21, 2003 11:57 AM

Party Pocker - Poker

Posted by: Party Pocker at October 19, 2004 04:58 AM
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