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Study pinpoints Osama location in Pak

The world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden could be hiding in a walled compound in Parachinar...

Written by Press Trust Of India | Washington | Published: February 18, 2009 12:41 am

The world’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden could be hiding in a walled compound in Parachinar,a town along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,according to a unique satellite-aided geographic analysis released on Tuesday.

Basing their conclusion on night-time satellite images and other techniques,a research team led by geographer Thomas Gillespie suggest that Osama may well be in one of three compounds in Parachinar,a town 12 miles inside the Pakistan border,USA Today reported.

Gillespie of the University of California-Los Angeles and his team used geographic analytical tools that have been successful in locating urban criminals and endangered species. The research incorporates reports of Osama’s whereabouts since his flight from the Tora Bora in Afghanistan in 2001.

The results,reported in the MIT International Review,are being greeted with polite but skeptical interest,the report said. “I’ve never really believed the sitting-in-a-cave theory. That’s the last place you would want to be bottled up,” Gillespie says. The study’s value,he says,is in combining satellite records of geographic locations,patterns of night-time electricity use and population-detection methods to locate fugitives.

The study generates hiding-place location probabilities. It starts with “distance decay theory”,which holds that the odds are greater that the person will be found close to where he was last seen. Then the researchers add the “island biographic theory,” which maintains that locales with more resources are likelier to draw creatures of interest. “Island biographic theory suggests bin Laden would end up in the biggest and least isolated city of the region,” Gillespie says.

“We are all wondering where Osama is hiding,” Gillespie says. “We wanted to offer the techniques we have to help.”

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