Bin Laden documents released
Just over a year after Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden, some of the thousands of documents seized in the raid are made public Thursday by a West Point counter terrorism center. Our Josh Robin has more.
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UNITED STATES -- Plucked from Osama bin Laden's safe house, new evidence Al Qaeda wanted to shed more American blood.
“Any arrow and mine we have should be directed against Americans, disregarding all other enemies, including NATO, and concentrating on Americans only."
This, written either by bin Laden or a top lieutenant.
In another letter, bin Laden calls for the killing of President Obama and/or David Petraeus, then a top military commander.
"You can only say that he had intentions about planning operations in the United States. This is basically what he really wanted his jihadi brothers to focus on. But the documents do not really indicate anything in terms of their capability," said Nelly Lahoud of the combating terrorism center.
Another enigma is unexplained: How bin Laden went undetected for so long. Still, West Point's memos are remarkable for cracking some of the mystery. They show for all his bluster, bin Laden was also troubled.
The killing of Muslim civilians and loss of control over other militant groups prompted bin Laden to pen a long letter in 2010. He used derivations of the word mistake 11 times and spoke of what he called a new phase in Al Qaeda after the success of 9/11
Lahoud said, “We also see him wanting to centralize regional jihadi groups, media campaigns, as well as their operations, in his hands, or in the hands of what has been labeled al Qaeda Central."
The documents also show bin Laden's apparent contradictions. He appears irritated, for instance, that attempted Times Square Bomber Faisal Shazad lied to U.S. immigration officials. When taking his oath for American citizenship, Shahzad promised not to harm his adopted nation.
"You should know that it is not permissible in Islam to betray trust and break a covenant," he writes.
He was also interested in his legacy. A top aide planned a bin Laden media campaign to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. It would never happen. Four months before that, bin Laden was shot dead.