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Tipsheet

Osama: The Degree of Deadness Update

It seems he's not quite dead yet. Folks are still skeptical about the Osama story.

None of the governments involved have been able to confirm the story. His family hasn't heard he's dead. A terror expert and a journalist with al Qaeda contacts say he's alive.

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But let's not stray too far from talking about Osama dead, because it's just plain fun. There's a new report that suggests the French story may have been a plan to flush him out of hiding so that he can then be located and subsequently made dead:

One theory surrounding the mysterious French leak is that it was designed precisely to flush the al Qaeda leader into the open, prompting him to release a new tape that might give a clue to his whereabouts and state of health.

"Western intelligence, the Americans, the Saudis want bin Laden to appear," said Diaa Rashwan, an expert on Islamist groups at the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo.

"Perhaps they're trying to agitate him to appear by video to try to fix some information about his real (location)."

Rashwan said expectations of an imminent appearance by bin Laden had mounted among contributors to Islamist Web sites discussing the report of his demise.

Will he let his ego--his burning desire to prove his own relevance--lead him into a rash and dangerous political and tactical mistake? Nah, that kind of thing never happens.

Pakistan says it knows not what the Tallest Jihadi's status is.

But I figure between this and the news about Whitney, if he's alive, he's comin' out. And then? The deadness.

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