It's always a challenging but revealing exercise to put yourself in your foe's shoes:
Basically, I would anticipate that my death, natural or otherwise, could occur any moment. I would not dream about escaping the inescapable; rather, I would work to make the most of the inescapable by using it to confound my enemies. Thus, my biggest weakness would be converted into my greatest strength. Call it Ultimate Jujitsu.
(1) I would make a video every month. The prior month's video would be destroyed so that only the latest video would exist. It would be placed with a trusted supporter outside my compound who would send it to the media if the U.S. claimed I was dead.
In the video I would pronounce words to this effect: As you can see with your own eyes, recent declarations that I am dead are completely false. On top of that, they are absolutely absurd. The story that I was hiding in Pakistan in Abbottabad, a garrison city filled with soldiers, is too preposterous to be believed. Or is it? America is practicing The Big Lie of Adolph Hitler: if a lie is big enough, you can get away with telling it.
To lend an air of reality, I would next refer to one or more current events of the month. Then comes the clincher:
I would hold up a copy of "this morning's" newspaper. To keep it up to date, the page would be photoshopped by al-Qaeda specialists. I would then "caution" the viewer that the U.S. had flooded the Internet with photoshopped copies of my original video. "You, dear viewer, may be looking at one such false copy this instant. So, don't be surprised if you take it to an expert who says the newspaper was photoshopped."
(2) To reinforce the belief that I was still alive, I would make other videos in which I commented on events that are certain to take place over the short to mid term. "Now that President Obama is out of office..."; "When Hosni Mubarak died yesterday, I ..." Those videos, too, would be placed with trustworthy supporters outside my compound who would release them at the appropriate moment.
(3) To solidify the belief in my continued existence, I would make brief voice videos, each containing an alternative, specific remark about a particular event. "When Bush Senior died yesterday of a heart attack, ..."; "When Bush Senior died yesterday of cancer, ..."; "When Bush Senior died yesterday at home of a stroke, ..." Listeners would not know that ONLY the video which fit the facts of the actual event -- perhaps one video out of hundreds -- was broadcast and the others destroyed.
(4) I would surely know that if the authorities stormed my compound, they would seize all computer hard drives, CDs, records, data, documents. For that reason, I would salt them with drafts of emails and other communications containing statements such as: "Hello, Vladimir: regarding your request for $20 million not to reveal al-Zawahiri's location to the Americans ..."; "President Obama: pursuant to our agreement that al-Qaeda not attack America during the election year in exchange for America not attacking Iran ..." True? False? In analyzing each item of seized information, nobody would be sure of what they were looking at. Talk about a shadow of a doubt ...
And so, not only would I appear to be alive to those who wanted to believe it, I would seriously undermine U.S. credibility around the world. Of course, if American soldiers killed me, the U.S. would almost certainly know the truth; however, its task of convincing others would be "gravely" compromised.
No, I don't think I'm giving al-Qaeda any ideas. Hopefully, I gave you a few. Whether I succeeded or failed, the proverbial cat is out of the bag. If terrorists, such as Ayman al-Zawahiri or Anwar al-Awlaki, want to use Ultimate Jujitsu, they now -- unlike before -- will have to explain why they are not the cat.
They will discover the hard way that when it comes to certain things, explanations don't explain anything.