By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Ever wonder what terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden might look like if he shaved his trademark beard and turned in his robes and camouflage for a western business suit? Well, apparently so did the intelligence analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center. In their popular annual desk calendar, just received at Whispers, a page about the al Qaeda leader features an altered photograph, showing a neatly trimmed bin Laden in a dark suit and tie, looking more like a used-car dealer than a guerrilla fighter.
Bin Laden has a $27 million bounty on his head and a distinctive visage that has become remarkably familiar over the past decade, but the Westernized Osama looks surprisingly different. Still, it's a face only his mother could kiss. And there are some things he won't be able to disguise. The NCTC's calendar points out that he remains unusually tall (somewhere between 6 foot 4 and 6 foot 6) and walks with a cane. The NCTC, which is the U.S. intelligence community’s primary analytical shop for terrorism, has not yet posted its 2009 calendar, but the 2008 version is on its website.