DoD News Briefing
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Thursday, December 27, 2001
(Interview with Tom Bowman, Baltimore Sun. Also participating was Victoria Clarke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.)

BOWMAN : First of all, just sort of an update as to how things are going. How many Taliban/al Qaeda do you have in hand at this point? The leadership.

CLARKE : Forty-five.

RUMSFELD : It changes every day. Forty-five, look at that. You keep track, don't you?

BOWMAN : How many of those are leaders?

RUMSFELD : Gosh, I don't know. We're still working them over.

BOWMAN : But you do have some leaders of al Qaeda/Taliban?

RUMSFELD : Yeah, depending on the definition. We don't have the top ones, but --

BOWMAN : Did you get a sense -- there was a report that somewhere in Pakistan are some of the top leaders of the Taliban. Do you have any sense of that?

RUMSFELD : I've seen all those reports. You know. Who knows? Until you grab them you don't know. I just don't think it's even useful to speculate. There are some of them in the country, there are some of them we have, there are some out of the country, some of those are in Pakistan, some are undoubtedly in Iran.

BOWMAN : You're pretty sure some are in Iran?

RUMSFELD : I would guess so. It's a big long border, just like Pakistan.

BOWMAN : And bin Laden, there's a report that he may be in Pakistan, that's what the Afghan Defense Ministry is saying.

RUMSFELD : That's true. He may be. He may be dead, he may be in Afghanistan, he may be in lots of places.

BOWMAN : One of the three.

RUMSFELD : No, lots more than that. He could be anywhere.