By Mark Memmott

The USA's top spy believes al-Qaida's operations are in disarray, The Washington Post reports this morning.

"We really do have them on the run," CIA Director Leon Panetta tells the Post.

The newspaper writes that:

'Aggressive attacks against al-Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal region have driven Osama bin Laden and his top deputies deeper into hiding and disrupted their ability to plan sophisticated operations, ... Panetta said Wednesday.
"So profound is al-Qaeda's disarray that one of its lieutenants, in a recently intercepted message, pleaded with bin Laden to come to the group's rescue and provide some leadership, Panetta said."

As for what might happen to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden if the U.S. gets hold of him, Panetta told the Post that "the most likely scenario" would be taking him to a military facility "and we would then do the questioning."

Bin Laden's eventual fate has been a topic of much conversation this week, following Attorney General Eric Holder's comment that bin Laden likely won't be taken alive. Instead, Holder said, U.S. authorities could end up "reading Miranda rights to his corpse."

categories: Afghanistan, National Intelligence, Pakistan, Terrorism

7:19 - March 18, 2010