According to this article in the Daily Telegraph (UK) and this ABC News article, Thomas Gillespie, a UCLA Geography professor, claims to have narrowed down the probable locations of Osama bin Laden to just three particular houses in Parachinar, a large town in Pakistan.
According to Gillespie, his team used biogeographic theories to pinpoint the terror leader’s exact location. Specifically, they employed established animal distribution theories to predict the location of possibly the world’s most wanted criminal. Syncing their findings with satellite imaging techniques, and taking bin Laden’s known “life history characteristics” into account, they managed to narrow their search to an astonishingly discrete spatial area.
Perhaps the claims are too extraordinary, though, as some experts, including a CIA official, have voiced skepticism. Kim Rossmo of Texas State University, who has worked with the military to find terrorists, told USA Today that, “The idea of identifying three buildings in a city of half a million, especially one in a country the authors have likely never visited, is somewhat overconfident.”
Despite the detractors, I still find this to be an intriguing use of geographic expertise. I’d be interested to hear your opinions on the accuracy of Thomas Gillespie’s findings.
Cameron for My Wonderful World