WASHINGTON — In letters from his last hideout, Osama bin Laden fretted about dysfunction in his terrorist network and the loss of trust from Muslims he wished to incite against their government and the West.
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A selection of documents seized in last year’s raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan house was posted online Thursday by the U.S. Army’s Combating Terrorism Center.
While bin Laden saw al-Qaida’s standing with Muslim populations at risk of crumbling, the documents show he remained focused on attacking Americans and coming up with plots, however improbable, to kill U.S. leaders.
He wished especially to target airplanes carrying Gen. David Petraeus and even President Barack Obama, reasoning that an assassination would elevate an “utterly unprepared” Vice President Joe Biden into the presidency and plunge the U.S. into crisis.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
The world will soon be able to read the last words of Osama bin Laden as he struggled to command the attention of his far-flung terror network.
A selection of documents seized in last year’s raid on bin Laden’s house in Pakistan will be posted online Thursday by the Army’s Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy.
The correspondence shows a leader revered but sometimes ignored by field commanders, who dismissed him as out of touch even as he urged them to keep attacking U.S. targets.
White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said this week that bin Laden’s own words confirm that America is safer with him gone.
Brennan says bin Laden wrote of his worries that his leaders were being killed so quickly the group would not survive.