Syed Saleem Shahzad reports that Osama bin Laden has been quite mobile of late and parses the implications:
After a prolonged lull, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has launched a series of covert operations in the rugged Hindu Kush mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan following strong tip-offs that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been criss-crossing the area in the past few weeks for high-profile meetings in militant redoubts....
The development has fueled speculation in intelligence circles that al-Qaeda could be planning another major attack along the lines of the September 11, 2001, assault on New York and Washington, and the July 2007 foiled bomb attack in London.
However, extensive investigations by Asia Times Online, including exchanges within al-Qaeda's camps, point in another direction: given the nature of Bin Laden's meetings, this appears to be the beginning of a new era for a broader struggle in which al-Qaeda, through its Laskhar al-Zil (Shadow Army), will try to capitalize on the Arab revolts and the Palestinian struggle and also revitalize and redefine its role in Afghanistan.
The whole piece is worth a read. The upshot appears to be that al-Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri has lost an internecine ideological battle and as a result al-Qaeda may be changing strategy. Either way, hopefully a more mobile bin Laden means a more vulnerable one.