Home > Terrorism, World News > Bin Laden journal reveals his calculations for another 9/11-style attack

Bin Laden journal reveals his calculations for another 9/11-style attack


The release of more information seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound revealed that he thought only another 9/11-scale attack would force the US out of the Arab world.

In this Dec. 24, 1998 file photo, al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden speaks to a selected group of reporters in the mountains of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan.  Rahimullah Yousafzai/AP/File

The ongoing study of files recovered from Osama bin Laden‘s
compound revealed that he wanted to plan another 9/11-scale attack on
the US, which he hoped would shock the US into ending its presence in
the Middle East.

As information from the files is studied, it is
becoming increasingly clear to US officials that bin Laden remained very
involved in Al Qaeda‘s
operations from his hiding spot in Abbottabad. It remains to be seen,
however, if this will convince Pakistani officials that the 9/11
mastermind was more than an “out-of-touch figurehead” whose presence
deep inside Pakistan was of little consequence, as they have suggested.
Citing bin Laden’s handwritten journal and information gleaned from computer files recovered in the May 2 raid, US officials told the Associated Press
that the Saudi-born terrorist calculated how many Americans he thought
would have to die in order for the US to leave the Arab world and
decided that the small attacks since 9/11 would not be enough – that
thousands had to die at once, like they did in the attacks on the World
Trade Center.
Bin
Laden was cognizant of US counterterrorism defenses and educated his
followers on how to evade them, according to the AP. He also urged them
to focus plots not just on New York City, but other large cities, such
as Los Angeles, and smaller cities throughout the country. He insisted
they consider trains as a target, not just planes.
The files show
that bin Laden was involved in every terror plot in the past year that
the US knew about, including those in Europe that had the continent on
alert for weeks. He was also in contact with Al Qaeda franchises that
the US thought were working independently, such as Al Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), although it does not seem like he was able to
coordinate the various franchises’ activities.
The first clues to
bin Laden’s continued role in Al Qaeda emerged May 5, when US officials
revealed that bin Laden had wanted to stage an attack on the US rail system, possibly on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Further
analysis has revealed bin Laden’s unexpectedly high level of
involvement in Al Qaeda in recent years, contrasting with initial
reports that his capture would change little about the terrorist
organization’s work. As The Christian Science Monitor reported, Al
Qaeda’s primacy was already on the wane and the fact that bin Laden was
still at large was mostly a symbol of defiance.
“Whether
bin Laden provided material assistance or not to actual terrorist
attacks, his act of survival provided spiritual sustenance to
supporters,” Ray Takeyh, a Georgetown professor and senior fellow in
Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the
Monitor. “That’s been removed.”
Pakistan has already dismissed the notion that bin Laden coordinated terror attacks from his compound, casting him instead as an “out-of-touch figurehead,” reports Reuters.
John
J. LeBeau, a former CIA senior operations officer, told the news agency
that it was still too early to say what bin Laden’s role was in his
final years. “The information needs to be filtered, vetted, and
cross-checked before you can say anything with any authority,” said Mr.
LeBeau, a professor of security studies at the George C. Marshall Center
for Security Studies in Germany.
Categories: Terrorism, World News
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