My first take on the "Osama's Dead" story was, sadly enough, to suspect a conspiracy.
I don't mean it's sad that I was drawn into conspiracy theory. I'm not prone to that, so I wouldn't be too worried by an isolated case. No, what would be sad is if the conspiracy I imagined was behind the stories.
To wit: a really lame attempt to get bin Laden to emerge from hiding, so whoever is allegedly trying to find him - say the CIA -could spring out from behind a rock and nab him. "Hah! Gotcha! You goof, you fell for the oldest one in the book!" To which bin Laden would have to reply, "No way! Do over!" To which the CIA people would say, of course, "Nope! You had your do-over already!" Then, after several time-outs, during which both Osama and the CIA ops would alternately declare and reject various locations to be "safe," and bicker over what the current rules are, and whether to return to the original rules, somebody's mom would yell "this is the last time I'm calling you!" and that would be that.
But now I've got another take. If bin Laden plays this right, he'd resist the impulse to reveal himself in any way, at least, not right away. The sheer publicity that accompanies celebrity death rumors would just have to play well for him. His latest recordings haven't made the big splash that his earlier stuff did, after all. Meanwhile, even Bob Dylan has had a #1 album. After a few weeks, he could have his people release old recordings, preferably in multi-disc box set retrospectives, with one or two "previously unreleased rarities" and outtakes to interest collectors. The album cover could feature enigmatic photographs that seem symbolic and heat up speculation in all the tabloids. This could be the biggest boost to his career in years.