This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, February 17, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight: There is word Usama bin Laden has surrounded himself with lookalikes in a lawless region of Pakistan. Joining us from Berlin is Fox News foreign affairs analyst Mansoor Ijaz.
Mansoor, any chance (SIC) this report about bin Laden having lookalikes to sort of avoid at least our capture?
MANSOOR IJAZ, FOX NEWS FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think that's accurate. We knew that as early as October of last year, when the first eyewitness sighting of bin Laden in Iran took place, where we now had a pretty clear idea that his appearance had changed pretty substantially. The idea of him having body doubles was something that was put in place as early as 1998, '99, when they first started working with Saddam. Saddam was the one who suggested all of this stuff to them at that time. And I think these body doubles were put there so that there would be a continuation of the effort to try and find him in an area where he isn't actually there.
And that's why this cooperation between the tribal chieftains in these unregulated areas in Pakistan is so good with the Pakistan authorities right now, because they have nothing to lose. He's not there, so why create a fuss about something when it's not necessary?
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Mansoor, first of all, he's a very tall man. He's about 6-foot-5, isn't he? So it would be sort of -- I mean, finding a body double isn't that part5icularly easy for him.
IJAZ: That's right.
VAN SUSTEREN: But the second things is, if he's not in that area, where do you believe that Usama bin Laden is?
IJAZ: Well, I have to be honest. I don't really know at this moment because the last information that we had that was accurate was now -- is now almost three-and-a-half, four months old. But I would say that he's probably moving around a lot more than people suspect, and that is what makes it so difficult. There are too many people in that part of the world right now, either for religious or philosophical reasons, maybe in some cases for monetary reasons, that are willing to protect him. And so therefore, it's very difficult, unless you have inside intelligence, to be able to really find out exactly where he is.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, if it's monetary reasons, though, we can compete with that one. I mean, we can bring out our checkbooks for information, too. We can't compete necessarily with the religious fervor that's behind it, but the monetary -- I mean, are we on the ground with checkbooks open?
IJAZ: Well, we should be, but probably not in a way that would work. The problem is that people are not just willing to accept money from anybody in that part of the world, and we have not done a very good job of infiltrating the Afghan warlord infrastructure there.
Keep in mind that between Iran and Afghanistan, the key warlord running things is Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, who's changed sides so many times, I don't remember which side he's on anymore. And in the tribal areas, the key thing is that those guys want to keep their -- what they call these illicit trade routes open between Afghanistan and Pakistan into Central Asia. So the amount of money that we would have to put on the table is pretty substantial, and it would have to be long term. It can't be a short-term deal.
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know there's anyone in this country that isn't willing to put a lot of money on the table to catch Usama bin Laden. But let me switch gears for a second. Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban -- we're looking for him, as well. Is he likely to be with Usama bin Laden, or are they split up?
IJAZ: I doubt it. He does not have the same mobility that bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri do. My guess is that Zawahiri and bin Laden are traveling together. Saad bin Laden and Saif al Adl (ph) and Abu Musaab Zarqawi and some of these other second-tier guys are traveling separately from them, but they have frequent meetings with each other, and that's the key point.
I think Mullah Omar and bin Laden have one trusted aide that is going back and forth between them, but not -- they're not traveling together.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is -- is bin Laden -- bin Laden's health an issue? I mean, early on, after 9/11, there was an awful lot of discussion about him being in poor health. Any update on what his health is likely to be?
IJAZ: Yes. One of the great speculations about why he went to Iran in the first place was because Teheran is known to have very good kidney dialysis machines. And so it is conceivable that he still has some of those health problems, I have no definitive way of being able to say that.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let's switch gears for a second. We have two minutes left. Dirty bombs -- tonight, what's your thought on how much the U.S. is at risk of a dirty bomb attack?
IJAZ: Well, unfortunately, this nuclear scandal in Pakistan now has opened the entire world up to the real reality that nuclear materials, as well as the expertise and the assembly kits, if I may put it that way, to build a dirty radiological bomb are now in too many bad hands to have ever been able to control it. I think the nuclear horse, as I've said before on Fox is out of the barn, and there's not going to be much we can do to control it from the standpoint of outside effect. We have to get the information now from Pakistan precisely where they know everything is. If General Musharraf is not willing to give us all of that data, I think the American people have to stop this $3 billion aid package and go to their congressmen and senators and say, Until we get a full accounting of where Pakistani nuclear materials are, we cannot have American taxpayer money going out there anymore.
VAN SUSTEREN: General Musharraf is one of our biggest allies in the war on terror. Are you suggesting that he would be unwilling to sort of fully open up that information to us, so we could track down how far that this rogue black market nuclear technology went?
IJAZ: The problem is that it implicates people very high up in not just his government but in previous governments. And the collapse of the entire infrastructure in Pakistan politically and militarily is what precisely what the fanatics want. So we have a very delicate dance to do, but I think he can give it to us without compromising his own integrity in that process. And he should, and there shouldn't be a minute lost in getting that done.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Mansoor, nice to see you. Thank you for joining us.
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