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Amanpour: Bin Laden still hugely significant

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour says Osama bin Laden's significance has not been diminished in the five years since 9/11 because "he and his ideology remain very dangerous and alive." asked users to send questions to Amanpour as part of a "CNN Presents" documentary, "In the Footsteps of bin Laden." Here are her answers:

I would like to know if America is any closer to finding the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden today than we were before?
Michele S., Slidell, Louisiana

AMANPOUR: Unfortunately, I do not think so.

What are the chances bin Laden will be betrayed by a woman leading to his capture?
Mike Fulcher, San Antonio, Texas

AMANPOUR: There is zero chance of him being betrayed by a woman.

Christiane, I worry that reporting on the tracking of bin Laden is very dangerous for you. Is that true?
Rickey Lucas, Grapevine, Texas

AMANPOUR: It is always dangerous covering these people and their associates. However, we took all the precautions we could and made it out and on the air, safe and sound. Thanks for your concern though. (Watch dangerous filmmaking -- 2:42)

In the past few years, we [the U.S. forces] have vastly outnumbered the bad guys, yet we cannot take them out. Why is this?
Bob Ramos, Corpus Christi, Texas

AMANPOUR: It is a long process that requires more than just a military approach. It requires thoughtful and careful policy and diplomacy, and it most definitely requires a great working relationship with America's many allies. Going it alone has been proved an unsuitable option for the United States.

Do you think Western people will ever understand the true motivations as well as cultural and religious differences between the West and Muslims?
Jonathan Stern, San Rafael, California

AMANPOUR: I hope so, and I will be working on that in the future. But in order to understand, American and Western media need to be committed to serious reporting of these issues, and viewers and readers need to be committed to reading, watching and learning.

Now that bin Laden has been all but nullified in actual significance, why are we still so preoccupied with this ghost of the past?
Ilja Burkoff

AMANPOUR: In my view, he has not been nullified. His significance is still huge because whether he actually organizes attacks, he certainly inspires them, from Madrid to London to the Arab world, North Africa and beyond. He and his ideology remain very dangerous and alive.

I would like to know if it was more difficult for Christiane than it was for Peter Bergen to get information from individuals in those countries where woman are not given equal weight in society. And if so, what did she do to encourage cooperation from her sources?
Tracey Lloyd, St. Clairsville, Ohio

AMANPOUR: It was not difficult for me to interview the people in Afghanistan or Pakistan. I have had 16 years of experience doing this for CNN and many people out there know me by now. I don't think they particularly take my gender into account.

Do you believe the suicide bombings would diminish in the Middle East if bin Laden is captured?
Angela Lorini, Toronto, Canada

AMANPOUR: Not necessarily. Look at Iraq where violence and killing remain sky-high despite the U.S. killing of bin Laden's ally, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. But capturing bin Laden would have a massive impact on the morale of his fighters.

Can you effectively portray the fact that bin Laden lives in fear now, hiding like a scared schoolgirl, afraid to face American Marines and soldiers? Does he think the result, a life full of fear and hiding, was worthwhile?
Matt, Louisville, Kentucky

AMANPOUR: That's difficult to tell without actually meeting and asking him. But I am sure he believes he is still fighting and winning, given all the other mass killings and terrorism he continues to inspire.

Do the citizens of these countries have any sort of empathy with the American people in their losses on September 11, 2001, and the reason this war is being fought?
Peyton Holland, Dacula, Georgia

AMANPOUR: Yes, they have empathy and, if you recall, after 9/11 most of the world was on America's side, sympathetic and in solidarity. People even held candlelight vigils in Tehran, Iran. However, since then many people around the world have become very alienated from the United States because of what they perceive as a resort to force only. Of course, after the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the impression that the United States condones torture had a highly negative effect on people's perception of the United States.

I admire your work in the war zone. God bless you! I don't know why anyone would want that job!
David Randles, Ocala, Florida

AMANPOUR: David, thank you!

When you meet the people and talk to parents who are teaching their children that bin Laden is their leader, how difficult is it to keep your opinions to yourself and just hear their story?
Debbie El Houssieny, Grand Island, New York

AMANPOUR: It's my job, and I have to be objective and keep myself out of it. However, I do press them hard to explain themselves, and often I confront them with the illogic of their beliefs.


CNN's Christiane Amanpour reporting from Afghanistan.


• Slide show: Know your enemy
• Slide show: Bin Laden up close
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