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:

Description of the Abbottabad documents
The center says the letters were written between September 2006 and April 2011 by many well-known figures.

Letter from bin Laden in August 2010 seeking information about Anwar al-Awlaki and Yemen
References are also made to floods in Pakistan and the media plan for the 9/11 anniversary.

Letter from Gadahn in January 2011 giving media advice for 9/11 anniversary
The center says the letter appears to be a response to earlier questions from bin Laden.

Letter from bin Laden, using the pseudonym "Zamaria" to the head of a Somali militant group
Bin Laden politely declines a request for formal unity with al Qaeda.

Letter composed in December 2010 from a high-ranking personality, possibly Ayman al-Zawahiri
The letter refers to the request from the al-Shabab group in Somali to unite with al Qaeda.

Letter dated December 3, 2010, about indiscriminate violence of a group in Pakistan
The authors indicate that al Qaeda's top leaders had serious concerns about the actions of the TTP, a Pakistani Taliban group, including the killing of Muslims.

Letter saying that a militant group needed financial assistance "to support jihad"
The center believes the letter was forwarded to bin Laden.

Part of a letter discussing the re-branding of al Qaeda
It's not clear who wrote the letter, but it talks of a need to change the name of the terror organization to "Qaidat al-Jihad."

Letter from bin Laden dated April 26, 2011
Bin Laden outlines his response to the Arab Spring, a week before his death.

Letter dated March 28, 2007, showing the author's alarm at al Qaeda in Iraq's conduct
The author, who appears to be of Egyptian origin, asks a legal scholar about the use of chlorine gas.

Letter dated June 11, 2009, about the release of detainees from Iran
There is an indication that more people may be released, including some bin Laden relatives.

Draft of a document on the Arab Spring
This formed the basis of statements released by al-Zawahiri and reveal the al Qaeda editing process.

Two letters apparently on how al Qaeda is perceived among Saudi scholars
The author provides summaries of meetings with scholars, apparently with the intent of evaluating support.

Letter dated October 21, 2010, from bin Laden on the Afghanistan/Pakistan region
Bin Laden comments on the security situation in Pakistan's Waziristan and the need to move al Qaeda members out.

Letter, possibly from bin Laden, to the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
The author tells group to focus on the United States, not the Yemeni government .

Series of paragraphs, some of which match letter in previous entry to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
The letter discusses strategy, the need to target the United States including possible U.S. targets in South Africa.

Letter to bin Laden dated September 14, 2006, from "a loving brother"
The author criticizes bin Laden for the attacks in "Islamic countries in general and the Arabian Peninsula in particular."

Letter from bin Laden in late May 2010 indicating support for a "new phase"
Bin Laden says he is concerned with the killings of innocent Muslims in attacks by regional terror groups.

soundoff (14 Responses)
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    May 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • XYX


      May 5, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
      • kl

        I think you watch too much fiction movies, and your brain is so small. you dont know what you're talking about.

        May 5, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  2. jamison

    what the fuck are you talking about George w bush did not authorize the 911 attack you idiot Osama bin laddin did it says in documents.

    May 4, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
  3. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Government Insider Says George W. Bush Planned and Authorized the 9/11 Attacks...

    Stanley Hilton was a senior adviser to Sen Bob Dole and he has represented hundreds of families of 9/11 victims in a law suit against GWB for treason and mass murder!

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    Better properly vet and know the character and personality of your republican candidates before you cast your vote! Just remember its your future and your children's future at stake!

    May 4, 2012 at 7:43 am | Reply
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    May 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Reply
    • Buster

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      September 11, 2012 at 1:19 am | Reply
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    May 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  6. Nick

    Clinton-You are an idiot

    May 3, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Clinton

      You are obviously one of the idiots i described in the post below... Don't you have a NASCAR race to watch? Or a cousin to molest? Moron.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  7. Clinton

    Where are all the idiots that don't believe Bin Laden is dead because the President didn't post his dead photographs all over the front pages of every newsstand in the world? Honestly there's so many dumb people in the US now, I just wonder if the focus of anti-terrorism won't shift in the next few years to the US... where we'll have a bunch of worthless right wing psychopaths trying to blow things up because Fox news whipped the trailer trash idiots into a frenzy and got them to believe that Obama is a muslim, not a citizen, and of course didn't kill Osama bin Laden... frackin psychos.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • The REAL Truth...

      Where? Probably having coffee with those who claim OBL died in 2001 of kidney failure.. :)

      May 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  8. michaelfury

    May 3, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply

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