With all the attention being given to the presidential transition and elbowing for space at the inauguration of Barack Obama, it’s good to know that the CIA is keeping its eye on the ball: a smooth transition and the hunt for Osama bin Ladin.
Bin Laden’s al-Qaida remains the single greatest threat to the United States, CIA Director Michael Hayden told the Atlantic Council recently. “If there is a major strike on this country, it will bear the fingerprints of al-Qaida.”
Bin Laden, he added, is isolated from al-Qaida’s day-to-day operations, but the hunt for him remains at the top of the CIA’s priority list. “His death or capture clearly would have a significant impact on the confidence of his followers – both core al-Qaida and unaffiliated extremists throughout the world,” Hayden said.
“All the threats we have to the West have a thread that takes it back to the (Afghanistan/Pakistan) border,” where bin Laden is believed to be hiding, the CIA director noted.
Hayden seemed to be expressing a due sense of priorities, despite the necessary attention to the transfer of power in Washington.