The realignment reflects a view that Al Qaeda is no longer as hierarchical as it once was, intelligence officials said, and a growing concern about Qaeda-inspired groups that have begun carrying out attacks independent of Mr. bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Agency officials said that tracking Mr. bin Laden and his deputies remained a high priority, and that the decision to disband the unit was not a sign that the effort had slackened. Instead, the officials said, it reflects a belief that the agency can better deal with high-level threats by focusing on regional trends rather than on specific organizations or individuals.
"The efforts to find Osama bin Laden are as strong as ever," said Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, a C.I.A. spokeswoman. "This is an agile agency, and the decision was made to ensure greater reach and focus."
That of course makes no sense. Here's an explanation that makes more sense: the CIA, having had no luck on finding bin Laden after nearly five years of hunting for him, is pretty much giving up on having a unit that sits around twiddling its thumbs or following mistaken/inaccurate/useless intelligence. Perhaps they can put these guys to better use looking for other threats, but if you had any doubt about how the hunt for bin Laden is going, this ought to clue you in.