International Manhunts in Recent History

Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and their al Qaeda, Taliban and Baath Party cohorts are not the first enemies of the United States or its allies to be hunted around the globe. Following are some high-profile international manhunts from recent history.

Saddam Hussein, Deposed Iraqi President


Toppled as Iraqi president in April 2003, Saddam and a small handful of his former top government officials continue to elude U.S. forces searching for them, though Saddam's sons and many other regime officials have been captured or killed. Saddam loyalists are suspected of continuing to carry out attacks on Americans and U.S.-led efforts to install order in Iraq. And Saddam is believed to have released periodic audiotapes calling for continued Iraqi resistance to U.S.-led efforts.

Osama bin Laden, Leader of Al Qaeda Terrorist Group

Sudan -> Afghanistan -> Pakistan?

The alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in the United States is believed to be hiding in a remote, tribal area of Pakistan near the Afghan border that is largely beyond government control. Just before Sept. 11, 2003, an Arabic television station aired a videotape, with audio added, that was believed to contain the voice of bin Laden and his al Qaeda deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. However, it was unclear when bin Laden's supposed portions were recorded.

Mullah Mohammed Omar, Former Leader of Afghanistan

Afghanistan -> Pakistan?

The former leader of Afghanistan's Taliban government, which sheltered Osama bin Laden and operating bases of his al Qaeda network, is believed to be hiding in a remote area of Pakistan. Other accounts continue to place Omar in Afghanistan, where large parts of the country remain chaotic or in control of local warlords. Taliban officials have told reporters Omar continues to organize operations to destabilize Afghanistan, and to attack U.S. forces there.

Radovan Karadzic, Former Bosnian Serb Leader


Believed to be hiding in Serb-controlled eastern Bosnia, surrounded and protected by supporters, Karadzic -- along with Ratko Mladic, his former military commander -- is accused of overseeing the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which 6,000 civilians were killed. Though twice indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal on genocide charges, both men remain at large. Karadzic may still be living well on embezzled funds from his time in power, and on profits from the black market, and Mladic is believed to be in Serbia.

Abu Abbas (Muhammad Abbas), Palestinian Militant

Egypt -> Italy -> Tunisia -> Algeria -> Libya -> Gaza -> Iraq

U.S. forces in April 2003 captured Abbas in southern Baghdad, where he had been living openly. Abbas was leader of the Palestinian Liberation Front in 1985, when members of that group hijacked the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro and killed a wheelchair-bound American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer. Though Abbas was captured by U.S. forces in 1985, Italy's then-prime minister released him before an Italian court sentenced him in abstentia to life in prison.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Al Qaeda Terror Commander

Afghanistan -> Pakistan

Pakistani officials seized Mohammed -> believed involved in planning the 9/11 attacks and other al Qaeda strikes against the United States since 1993 -> at a house in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in March 2003. Officials told ABC News Mohammed was tracked by the CIA and Pakistani intelligence after they received tips from Ramzi Binalshibh, Mohammed's close associate, who was captured in Pakistan months earlier.

Abu Nidal (Sabri al-Banna), International Terrorist

Palestinian territories -> Iraq -> Sudan -> Syria -> Libya -> Iraq

The mastermind of deadly attacks from the 1970s to the 1990s was found dead in Baghdad, allegedly a suicide, in August 2002. Iraqi officials said the 65-year-old Palestinian, born Sabri al-Banna, killed himself, but others suspected assassination after pictures appeared to show Nidal's body with multiple gunshot wounds. The shadowy terrorist-for-hire, whose bombing, hijacking and assassination attacks targeted Israelis, moderate Palestinians and Westerners, once was among the most-wanted terrorists by the United States and other nations.

Abdullah Ocalan, Head of Kurdistan Workers Party

Turkey -> Syria -> Italy -> Kenya

Turkish operatives pursued the Kurdish rebel leader for months from exile in Syria, through Europe and Africa. Turkish forces finally seized him from Greek protection in Nairobi, Kenya, in February 1999, after a secret Greek bid to gain Ocalan political asylum in Africa. Turkish courts sentenced Ocalan to death for treason, but reduced the sentence to life in prison after Turkey abolished the death penalty.

Ramzi Yousef, 1993 World Trade Center Bombing Planner

United States -> Philippines -> Pakistan

An informant collected a $2 million U.S. government reward after Yousef, an al Qaeda operative, was seized in Pakistan in 1995, less than two years after fleeing the United States following the 1993 World Trade Center attack. In between, while living in Manila, he was believed to have plotted attacks on U.S. jetliners over the Pacific Ocean.

Carlos the Jackal (Illich Ramirez Sanchez), International Terrorist

France -> East Germany -> Hungary -> Lebanon -> Syria -> Yemen -> Sudan

Carlos, a Venezuelan, spent two decades on the run throughout the world before Sudanese or French agents (accounts vary) abducted him in Sudan in August 1994. Carlos remains in a French jail after being sentenced to life in prison for the 1975 murders of two French agents and an alleged informer in Paris. Carlos, a communist and a Muslim, has been accused of numerous other killings, kidnappings and attacks in Europe and the Middle East.

Pablo Escobar, Cocaine Cartel Leader


After the violent drug kingpin walked out of a luxurious jail he built for himself, Colombian officials invited U.S. forces to Colombia to help track him down. Following a wave of deadly violence attributed to Escobar, U.S. agents traced Escobar's voice on a call in December 1993. They tracked down his location, and he was killed in a shootout while fleeing a safe house.

Josef Mengele, World War II Concentration Camp Doctor

Poland -> Brazil

Though he was notorious for conducting cruel and deadly experiments on inmates at Poland's Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, and blamed for sending perhaps 400,000 people to die in gas chambers, the so-called Angel of Death never was brought to justice. Mengele is believed to have drowned in Brazil in 1979.

Klaus Barbie, German Gestapo Leader in Lyon, France

France -> Bolivia

The so-called Butcher of Lyon was infamous for ordering the deaths of French Jewish children during World War II, but the United States allegedly helped him reach South America after he tracked communists for U.S. intelligence. Barbie was extradited to France in 1983, convicted of war crimes and sentenced to life in prison, where he died of cancer in September 1991.

Adolph Eichmann, World War II Nazi official

Germany -> Argentina

The mastermind behind Adolph Hitler's "final solution" to exterminate the Jews was tracked down by Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, arrested in Argentina, and sent to Israel in May 1960. Eichmann was convicted of war crimes and executed in June 1962.