The jihadists over at Jihad Unspun say that Osama has been moving around freely right under the Americans’ noses:
The chief of Al-Qaida, Osama Bin Mohammad Bin Laden, has confronted American forces many times inside Afghanistan says a Taliban spokesman. Speaking to Ausaf sources in Khost, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Saif ul Adil has said that Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri are both in Afghanistan and not Pakistan as some officials claim. He went on to say that Osama Bin Laden has confronted Americans numerous times but the Americans did not recognize him.
In one interesting incident, Osama Bin Laden stayed very close to an American outpost for 15 days to observe its activities and Mujahideen later destroyed that base in a successful operation. He also said that Mullah Omar is in Afghanistan but is not in contact with Osama bin Laden as of now.
Do I think this is true? Maybe, but probably not. There has not been any conclusive evidence that Osama is even alive for quite some time. But this article is an example of how Osama has taken on godlike stature among the mujahedin (a status which is only aided, of course, but his lack of public appearances) — and of how elaborate fictions can gain currency in the Islamic world.