Before Osama bin Laden was killed by American Special Forces, he ordered his operatives to conceive a plan shoot down Air Force One, according to documents taken from his compound in Pakistan the Washington Post reports. Gen. David H. Petraeus’ aircraft was also a target.
It was bin Laden’s hope that, if President Barack Obama was killed, it would make a supposedly unprepared VP Joe Biden Commander-in-Chief, weakening the United States’ defenses against a subsequent al-Qaeda attack.
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But U.S. officials say the plan was no real threat to the President. The Washington Post has more:
The man bin Laden hoped would carry out the attacks on Obama and Petraeus was the Pakistani terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri. “Please ask brother Ilyas to send me the steps he has taken into that work,” bin Laden wrote to his top lieutenant, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman. A month after bin Laden’s death, Kashmiri was killed in a U.S. drone attack.
The plot to target Obama was probably bluster, since al-Qaeda apparently lacked the weapons to shoot down U.S. aircraft. But it’s a chilling reminder that even when he was embattled and in hiding, bin Laden still dreamed of pulling off another spectacular terror attack against the United States.
The terrorist leader urged in a 48-page directive to Atiyah to focus “every effort that could be spent on attacks in America,” instead of operations within Muslim nations. He told Atiyah to “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.”
Go to the Washington Post for more on this story.