Scientists Predicted bin Laden's Location in 2009

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Ricter, May 8, 2011.

  1. Ricter


    "Scientists Predicted bin Laden's Location in 2009

    May 4, 2011 1:22PM

    The same theories used to study endangered birds led scientists to an accurate prediction of Osama bin Laden's whereabouts -- in 2009. The scientists named the city of Parachinar as the most likely hide-out of bin Laden with a probability of 98 percent that he was in the region, which includes the city of Abottabad, where he was tracked down and killed.

    A team of Los Angeles geographers correctly predicted Osama bin Laden's location in 2009 by adapting probability models used to map and predict the extinction of endangered birds, according to a report Tuesday on the Science Insider Web site.
    The scientists named the city of Parachinar as the most likely hide-out of Bin Laden with a probability of 98 per cent that he was in the region. The researchers predicted there was an 89-percent chance that the al-Qaeda leader was in the area, which included the city of Abottabad, where he was tracked down and killed by US forces on Sunday.

    "The theory was basically that if you're going to try and survive, you're going to a region with a low extinction rate: a large town," geography professor Thomas W Gillespie said. "We hypothesized he wouldn't be in a small town where people could report on him."

    "It's not my thing to do this type of stuff (on terrorism research)," he said. "But the same theories we use to study endangered birds can be used to do this."

    The research team comprised Gillespie, geography professor John A Agnew and their students at the University of California at Los Angeles.

    Using a theory called island biogeography, they predicted that bin Laden would be hiding in a large city, based on the notion that species are more likely to survive on a large island than a small one. They used a theory called distance-decay theory to predict that bin Laden was hiding close to his last known whereabouts (determined to be the cave complex of Tora Bora in 2001) and in a region that has a similar physical and cultural environment .

    "The further he moves from his last reported location into the more secular parts of Pakistan or into India, the greater the probability that he will find himself in different cultural surroundings -- thereby increasing the probability of his being captured or eliminated," the authors said in their paper.

    Gillespie said it was common sense that Osama would be hiding in a town. "Caves are cold, and you can't see people walking up to them," he said.

    He criticized bin Laden's choice of location. "An inconspicuous house would have suited him better," he said."
  2. Ricter



    UCLA Researchers Predicted Bin Laden's City Hideout Down to Within 130 Miles
    By Garrett Tenney

    Published May 04, 2011

    In this April 1998 file photo, exiled Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden is seen in Afghanistan.
    In early 2009, University of California at Los Angeles geography researchers not only predicted that Usama Bin Laden wasn't hiding in a remote cave, they figured out there was an 88.9 percent probability he would be found in a major city about 130 miles from where the terror kingpin was actually found.

    UCLA geography professor Tom Gillespie, who co-authored a paper with colleague John Agnew and five undergraduate students, concluded that Bin Laden was hiding in Parachinar, a Pakistani border town just west of Abbottabad, where he was actually found.

    “On some levels, we were about 130 miles off from where the town he was actually found, but my goodness, he certainly wasn’t living in a cave, was he? It was a structure that really did match his life history characteristics, which was actually pretty surprising to all of us that worked on the paper,” Gillespie says.

    In fact, they were so convinced with their findings that one undergrad student who was working on the research passed the paper to her mother, who hand delivered the results to CIA Director Leon Panetta's wife, who lives in the same area.

    “I expected the government should pretty much not take it seriously,” former UCLA student-researcher, Erika Mariano, tells “Because how much truth or credibility could there be to something built from open source materials.”

    Gillespie said he passed the paper along to the FBI prior to its publishing but never heard anything back.

    “I think anyone in the CIA if they said they were going to use a bird theory to find Usama Bin Laden they’d probably lose their job,” Gillespie says with laugh.

    The FBI's Los Angeles told it was unable to confirm or deny receiving this particular study but says it is not uncommon for the FBI to receive information in high-profile cases from all kinds of sources. The CIA didn't respond to requests for comment on this story.

    “We used geographic theories about locations of different people and animals to try and find where Usama Bin Laden is, and then we used satellite imagery…to kind of pick out an actual single location on earth,” explained Gillespie.

    Gillespie and Agnew, with the help of UCLA geography students, used two geographical scientific theories normally used in locating endangered species, known as “distance decay” and “island biogeographic” to narrow down Bin Laden’s probable location.

    These theories led students to hypothesize that the further bin Laden moved from his last known location, the more likely he would find himself in areas with different religious and political beliefs, making it more likely he would be discovered; meaning he wasn’t hiding very far from Tora Bora -- his last reported location used in the study.

    They concluded after studying bin Laden's "life history characteristics" that the list of requirements for his hideout included a tall building to fit his unusual 6-foot-4-inch height, access to electricity for a dialysis machine to treat his reported kidney disease, rooms for a small number of body guards and walls for privacy.

    They picked Parachinar because several buildings there met those requirements. Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad also fit their mold – a fact Gillespie draws a sense of satisfaction from.

    “We didn’t find that actual location in 2009, but when you look at where he was found it’s pretty close.”

    Mariano, now in her first year of a master’s degree in non-proliferation and terrorism studies at Pepperdine University in California, says she ran to a computer as soon as she heard news of bin Laden’s death to check the location.

    “I was stunned that our theories that used common, open source materials would be that accurate,” says Mariano. “To find out that just the brainstorming and these theories were relatively accurate is incredible."
  3. kut2k2



    Christiane Amanpour Revealed Osama Bin Laden's Whereabouts On 'Real Time With Bill Maher'
    by Jason Linkins - 05/04/11 03:16 PM ET

    Here's the relevant parts of the transcript of the October 3, 2008 edition of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher. On that show, panelist Christiane Amanpour, who was then the chief international correspondent at CNN, alluded to a source who said that bin Laden had stashed himself in a "nice comfortable villa" in Pakistan.

    (Garry) SHANDLING: So, isn’t Osama bin Laden laughing his ass off? You’ve met him. Does he—he must be—

    AMANPOUR: [overlapping] I haven’t met him. I wish I’d met him. I wish I had done an interview—

    MAHER: [overlapping] By the way—

    SHANDLING: [overlapping] I thought you did an interview.

    AMANPOUR: [overlapping] No, I wish.

    SHANDLING: [overlapping] Because he’s in a cave somewhere that—

    (Alec) BALDWIN: [overlapping] Somewhere he’s buying stock right now.

    AMANPOUR: [overlapping] He’s not. I just talked to somebody very knowledgeable—

    SHANDLING: [overlapping] Wait, she knows where Osama bin Laden is?

    AMANPOUR: [overlapping] Well, she doesn’t think –- this woman, who is in America --

    SHANDLING: [overlapping] Tell me.

    AMANPOUR: [overlapping] -- thinks that he’s in a villa, a nice comfortable villa --

    MAHER: [overlapping] Cabo?

    AMANPOUR: [overlapping] -- in Pakistan. Not a cave. That’s all --

    SHANDLING: [overlapping] -- how badly -- Alec, I’m sorry -- how badly has Bush -- how bad is -– Woodward said when you asked –- gave him a compliment by saying he’s better than Nixon. We’ve got a president that at this stage of the economy can’t foreclose on Osama bin Laden’s cave, wherever he is? [laughter]

    AMANPOUR: It’s not a cave. [she laughs]

    SHANDLING: [overlapping] We’re letting him just get away. It’s a villa. You know it’s a villa. [laughter] This is what we need. We need to send a woman over there –- this is how we find him. You know this, Bill. We should send her over, and you should find out who he dated last, because some woman is talking about getting thrown out by Osama bin Laden -- [laughter] -- because all these women are talking to each other about who they’re dating. And we don’t need that intelligence, do we? You know where he is.

    AMANPOUR: Definitely.

    SHANDLING: [overlapping] Because he dumped some woman, didn’t he? [laughter]

    AMANPOUR: [laughing] It’s always the woman. Follow the woman.

  4. Yes , the same with Saddam's sons......they started bullet proofing their hideout house's windows, as if that would help.It only helped to give them away.