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Former FBI Agent: Bin Laden Worked to Rebrand al-Qaida

Image: Former FBI Agent: Bin Laden Worked to Rebrand al-Qaida
Osama bin Laden (Photo by Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 14 May 2017 04:05 PM

Osama bin Laden helped rebrand his terrorist oganization before his death, "60 Minutes" reports.

The former al-Qaida leader told affiliates to quit referring to themselves as al-Qaida members and told them to stop beheading people because it made him "look bad."

"Osama bin Laden was not just, you know, sitting in his house trying to avoid being captured or killed," said Ali Soufan, the FBI's lead al-Qaida investigator after the 9/11 attacks who has spent the last two years analyzing documents seized in bin-Laden's compound.

"He was, in some instance, micromanaging al-Qaida and its affiliates," Soufan told CBS News' Holly Williams in an interview that aired Sunday night. "You know, you can plant this crops and this crops. It's very good. Oh and by the way, you know, stop beheading people and cutting heads. That makes me look bad. You know I have a brand to protect."

The documents seized were referred to as a "treasure trove" by the U.S. government and included bin Laden's personal correspondence and al-Qaida’s dangerous new strategy.

Bin Laden, who was killed by Navy SEALs during a raid in Pakistan in 2011, directed al-Qaida affiliates to focus future attacks on America and not limit themselves to "blowing up airplanes."

He also told affiliates to quit referring to themselves as al-Qaida members.  

"Because he believed that the moment that they say the name al-Qaida, the United States, the West, the local regimes will use it against them, and people won't listen to the message," Soufan said. "They just listen to the fact that they are al-Qaida. So each one of the affiliates we start seeing calling themselves a totally different name, that al-Qaida is not even part of the sentence."

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Osama bin Laden helped rebrand al-Qaida before his death, "60 Minutes" reports.
bin laden, fbi agent, al qaeda, death, 60 minutes, cbs
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2017-05-14
Sunday, 14 May 2017 04:05 PM
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