Bin Laden Trail Still Cold, Pakistan Says
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Despite a surge in arrests of Al Qaeda suspects, a senior Pakistani anti-terrorism official said investigators still had not found the trail of their main target, Osama bin Laden.
"You can only be sure you're closing in on someone when you at least have a hint of his whereabouts," Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema said in an interview last week. "With regard to Osama bin Laden himself, I would say that we are not getting any substantial leads as yet."
"The next month and a half is absolutely crucial," said the Pakistani source, who spoke on condition that he not be identified because his superiors had not approved the interview. "The way the Americans are pressuring Pakistan, they want Osama bin Laden."
Bush administration officials have denied U.S. media reports that the United States was pressuring Pakistan to capture or kill Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda fugitives before the election. National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack told the New Republic, which published one such account, that U.S. policy on pursuing those fugitives was unchanged by the election schedule.