Is Osama imitating a dead man again?

Reuters/Washington Post:

The U.S. government is unable to confirm a French newspaper report that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is believed to have died last month in Pakistan, a U.S. counterterrorism official said on Saturday.

"We cannot confirm the account," said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue. "It's quite possible (that) there was some talk of this, but in terms of being able to confirm this, that I can't do."

The French regional daily L'Est Republicain reported that, according to a French secret service report, Saudi Arabia was convinced that bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan in late August. The French government has said it could not confirm the report and would investigate the intelligence leak.

...

U.S. officials have suggested that his death would be accompanied by a surge of e-mail and telephone chatter among bereaved al Qaeda members, if not an actual announcement from the militant network.

But officials said they were not aware of any such chatter in recent weeks.

...

Why dosen't Osama just call an open press briefing to squelch these rumors? Perhaps, he fears he would no longer have to imitate a dead man. Sometimes, I think these periodic rumors from intelligence services are meant to get him to do something that might give his position away. If that is the case, let's hope it works.

Wretcherd at the Belmont Club notes that someday someone will be right about this.

Gateway Pundit has a round up of stories on Osama's latest obit.

Chirac is denying that the leaked intelligence report has been confirmed and is asking for an inquiry on how the document came to be leaked.

Update: Check this later post where Saudi officials sat that Osama is just ill.

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