Osama bin Laden hoped to kill President Barack Obama so the U.S. government would be turned over to a “totally unprepared” Vice President Joe Biden. Documents taken from the compound of the al-Qaida leader killed in a May raid ordered by Obama also show the terrorist group had a particular dislike for Fox News, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius
Ignatius was given an exclusive look at a cache of newly declassified documents taken from bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan. He reports the documents will soon be available to the public. The long-time reporter and author writes that bin Laden had ordered his network in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus.
“The reason for concentrating on them,” the al-Qaida leader explained to his top lieutenant, the Post reported, “is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency. … Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour … and killing him would alter the war’s path” in Afghanistan.
Administration officials don’t put much stock in the threat because al-Qaida lacked the weapons to shoot down a U.S. aircraft. However, bin Laden had gone so far as to give the job to Pakistani terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri. According to the Post, bin Laden wrote, “Please ask brother Ilyas to send me the steps he has taken into that work.”
Kashmiri was killed by a drone attack a month after bin Laden.
Bin Laden also hoped to pull off another attack in the United States that would rival 9/11. In a 48-page directive to top lieutenant Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, bin Laden told him to focus “every effort that could be spent on attacks in America. … Ask the brothers in all regions if they have a brother … who can operate in the U.S. [He should be able to] live there, or it should be easy for him to travel there,” the Post reported.
Bin Laden also was obsessed with image and worried that the al-Qaida brand was so damaged the group needed a new name. He also hoped for terrorist operations to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and had devised media plans. U.S.-born media adviser Adam Gadahn outlined a media strategy to bin Laden that would include an anniversary video.
“It should be sent for example to ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN and maybe PBS and VOA,” Gadahn wrote according to the Post. “As for Fox News let her die in her anger.” he continued, “From a professional point of view, they are all on one level — except [Fox News] channel, which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks objectivity, too.”
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