To qualify, this story is from Debka. But there appears to be some substance behind the story.
Coded electronic signals bandied in recent days among al Qaeda Middle Eastern elements across secret Internet sites all carry the same message: the supreme leader, Osama bin Laden, has come out of hiding in Afghanistan and set out, or is about to set out, for Iraq.
Some of the signals schedule his date of arrival as the second half of September when Ramadan is estimated to begin. His arrival in Iraq is planned to signal the launching of the biggest offensive his organization has ever launched against the US army.
The signals cap a secret exchange of messages in recent weeks in which al Qaeda’s Iraq commander Abu Musab al –Zarqawi attempted to persuade bin Laden to leave Afghanistan and take command of the Ramadan offensive in Iraq. Zarqawi argued the importance of his transferring from Afghanistan to Iraq on two grounds: to boost al Qaeda’s standing as it embarks on an “offensive whose scale and importance rival the September 2001 operation.” and in the interests of his own personal safety.
Zarqawi stressed, according to our sources, that bin Laden will be safer in Iraq than in Afghanistan – an indication of Jordanian terrorist’s inflated self-confidence.
It should be interesting to see if Debka is correct on this one!
DEBKAfile - Osama bin Laden Looks Like Heading for Iraq