Tags: Al-Qaida | Osama bin Laden | documents | Americans | al-Qaida

Documents Seized at Bin Laden Killing Reveal al-Qaida Strategy

By    |   Friday, 13 March 2015 02:30 PM

Holed up in his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound hideout, al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had a lot on his mind — the price of palm oil, climate change and how to kill more Americans.

The look inside the life of the al-Qaida leader, who maintained communications control over the terrorist group until his death, comes from a cache of documents scooped up by Navy SEALS on their way out of the compound, after they killed bin Laden on May 2, 2011, The Intercept reports.

Totaling more than 150 documents, the cache of correspondence is only the second batch of bin Laden letters released by the government. Offered up in evidence by U.S. attorneys in the Brooklyn trial of Abid Naseer, a Pakistani alleged to have been involved in al-Qaida bombing attacks in Manchester, England, in 2008 and '09, the letters provide an insight into what life was like for bin Laden as he hid out while U.S. forces were trying to locate and kill him.

The letters detail efforts by al-Qaida to uncover and eliminate spies within their organization who were making drone attacks on al-Qaida leadership possible.

One of bin Laden's underlings told him they were "constantly uncovering and destroying spies' networks," adding, "But that has not kept airstrikes from hitting us repeatedly." He reported that drone attacks were extremely effective and that al-Qaida was trying to come up with a way to jam or hack into the drones' computers without success. "However, they are continuing," he wrote.

As suspected at the time of the discovery of bin Laden's hideout, the letters indicate Pakistan was in discussion with al-Qaida and likely well aware of where bin Laden was.

"We are aiming our war against the Americans in Afghanistan. If the Pakistani Army and government leaves us alone, we will leave them alone," the bin Laden lieutenant writes.

Bin Laden called for the deaths of more Americans to build American opposition to the war against al-Qaida, noting, "Every year 400,000 people die from smoking, which is a huge number compared to the number killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they still have not come out in mass protests to close down tobacco companies."

A believer in global warming, bin Laden sent a message to one of his underlings stating, "Attached is a report about climate change, especially the floods in Pakistan. Please send it to Al Jazeera."

Bin Laden also was interested in palm oil as a source of income, writing, "It should be known that the income generated by one acre of palm oil trees was seven hundred and fifty dollars a few years ago, and it is supposed to have gone up now."

Another batch of 17 letters from the raid were released by the West Point Combating Terrorism Center, in which bin Laden urged his underlings to avoid attacks that kill Muslims and concentrate on attacking Americans, "our desired goal."

The letters show that al-Qaida sent three terrorists into Denmark, but had lost touch with them and knew they did not have sufficient weapons or explosives to launch attacks. One of bin Laden's strategists suggested using the "simplest things, such as household knives, gas tanks, fuel, diesel and others like airplanes, trains and cars as 
killing tools," CNN reports.

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Holed up in his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound hideout, al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had a lot on his mind - the price of palm oil, climate change and how to kill more Americans.
Osama bin Laden, documents, Americans, al-Qaida
Friday, 13 March 2015 02:30 PM
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