Bin Laden documents: Media strategist and critic
May 3rd, 2012
06:50 PM ET

Bin Laden documents: Media strategist and critic

By Jamie Crawford

The 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks provided al Qaeda a platform from which to reshape its image in the global media, Osama bin Laden wrote in documents recovered from his compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan. The documents provide a glimpse of the al Qaeda leader as media opportunist and critic.

"We need to benefit from this (anniversary) and get our messages to the Muslims and celebrate our victory that they achieved," bin Laden wrote to his confidant and al Qaeda operative Atiyya Abdul Rahman in October 2010. "We will have a lot to show, therefore we should not depend on one media outlet to cover the event."

Read: Security Clearance's coverage of the Osama bin Laden documents

In his letter, bin Laden said his group should contact both the Arabic and English speaking networks of Al Jazeera if they were interested, and to cooperate in their coverage of the anniversary. But the familiar outlets were not the only targets of his message.
FULL POST

May 3rd, 2012
06:41 PM ET

Osama bin Laden's plan to kill Obama

Some of the documents seized during the raid on bin Laden's compound have been posted online, CNN's Barbara Starr reports.

Bin Laden documents: Fear of drones
May 3rd, 2012
04:49 PM ET

Bin Laden documents: Fear of drones

By Pam Benson

The dire impact of CIA drone missile strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan certainly did not go unnoticed by Osama bin Laden, prompting the al Qaeda leader to repeatedly warn associates to take appropriate security measures, according to documents seized during the raid on the al Qaeda leader's Pakistan compound last year.

Read:  Security Clearance's coverage of the Osama bin Laden documents

The letters written by bin Laden were among a number of documents released to the public on Thursday by West Point's Combating Terrorism Center.

In an October 2010 letter to Atiyya Abdul Rahman, al Qaeda's top operational planner, bin Laden noted the experience the United States had in using drones to monitor activities in the tribal areas of Pakistan where many of al Qaeda's core members operated.

"They can distinguish between houses frequented by men at a higher rate than usual. Also, the visiting person might be tracked without him knowing," he wrote.

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Bin Laden documents: The plotting continued
May 3rd, 2012
04:16 PM ET

Bin Laden documents: The plotting continued

By Mike Mount

Osama bin Laden ordered suicide squads to be created in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the sole reason of tracking down President Obama and Gen. David Petraeus, who was then the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, according to a letter written by bin Laden in May of 2010.

Read: Security Clearance's coverage of the Osama bin Laden documents

The letter, released by West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, published some of the documents captured in the bin Laden raid last May. A review of the letters released publicly Thursday offer insight into the top leader's thinking and planning as he remained hidden from global view but still tried to have a hand in directing his organization, al Qaeda.

The al Qaeda leader asked his lieutenants to identify people in both countries who could keep an eye out for Obama and Petraeus and conduct suicide operations against them as they traveled in either country. FULL POST

Bin Laden documents: Tension with the branch offices
May 3rd, 2012
03:21 PM ET

Bin Laden documents: Tension with the branch offices

By Tim Lister

After years of isolation at his Abbottabad compound, Osama bin Laden's frustration was growing. He couldn't rein in groups that had taken the al Qaeda name but took little or no notice of "headquarters."  He seemed even envious of their freedom to operate and of the money they had, and he was still yearning to get operatives into the United States.

Read:  Security Clearance's coverage of the Osama bin Laden documents

Among the letters seized during the Abbottabad raid a year ago and released Thursday by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point, there's plentiful evidence that bin Laden was distressed by the behavior of affiliates in Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan - and especially the casualties among Muslim civilians they were inflicting.

By 2010, the al Qaeda leader was even suggesting a fresh start. FULL POST

May 3rd, 2012
02:34 PM ET

'Mission impossible' diplomacy in Beijing

By Jill Dougherty reporting from Beijing

Under the smoggy skies of Beijing an extraordinary diplomatic and personal drama is playing out in real time: What will be the fate of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, and what role will the United States have?

This drama has no script; new scenes, new acts are being written on the fly. Already it has featured what the U.S. ambassador calls a "mission impossible" effort with senior U.S diplomats bringing Chen - at his request - to sanctuary at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

The plot has twists and turns: Chen first said he wanted to stay in China to carry on his fight for human rights. Now, he tells CNN, he and his family fear for their lives and want to go to the United States.

He says he feels misled by U.S. officials, claiming he was not fully aware of the potential threats should he stay. The State Department counters by releasing photos of Chen as he made the decision to leave the embassy, showing what Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell called a "happy" and "excited" Chen.
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Bin Laden documents: Iran, drugs and murder
May 3rd, 2012
02:20 PM ET

Bin Laden documents: Iran, drugs and murder

By Jamie Crawford

From his Abbottabad hideout, Osama bin Laden was apparently concerned about the financial health of al Qaeda, according to recently declassified documents found during the U.S. raid on his compound one year ago.

Read:  Security Clearance's coverage of the Osama bin Laden documents

Money pressures were evident elsewhere, as well, as seen in a letter from an al Qaeda affiliate checking the morality of financing operations by murdering drug traffickers to steal their money.

In a letter from bin Laden to one of his confidants known as Atiyya in late May 2010, the shape of al Qaeda's finances, and its ability to carry on operations seemed to be on the terror leader's mind.
FULL POST

May 3rd, 2012
10:42 AM ET

The Osama bin Laden documents

Scores of pages of al Qaeda documents seized in last year's U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden were released Thursday.

They comprise 175 pages in the original Arabic of letters and drafts from bin Laden and other key al Qaeda figures, including the American Adam Gadahn and Abu Yahya al-Libi.

Throughout the day, Security Clearance will be posting new stories here

The Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, published the papers on its website.  Here are the center's brief description of the documents. You can click the links for the English translations: FULL POST

Chinese activists says he wants to go to U.S.
Chen Guangcheng at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday.
May 3rd, 2012
08:58 AM ET

Chinese activists says he wants to go to U.S.

By Steven Jiang

The Chinese activist who left the refuge of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said Thursday that he regrets the move and now wants U.S. officials to help get him and his family to the United States.

"I want them to protect human rights through concrete actions," Chen Guangcheng told CNN from his hospital room in Beijing. "We are in danger. If you can talk to Hillary, I hope she can help my whole family leave China."

Chen was referring to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived Wednesday for economic talks and found herself in the middle of a diplomatic firestorm.

His comments left the U.S. government battling to defend the deal it brokered with the Chinese authorities over Chen's future, with human rights advocacy groups questioning whether China would uphold its side of the bargain.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE


Filed under: China