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.

"Please report to me in detail about the financial situation on your side and about your vision and plans to improve it," bin Laden wrote, adding that money for al Qaeda operatives and their families should be set aside regardless of the near-term financial picture.

In a separate letter from Jaysh al-Islam, a Gaza-based al Qaeda affiliate, to Atiyya, the group makes clear it is in need of money to "support jihad" and questions the permissibility of various revenue streams to finance its mission.

The guidance offered was likely forwarded to bin Laden, according to the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which released the documents on its website Thursday. The correspondence took place between October and November of 2006.

Some of the letters included questions about whether it is permissible to accept money from rival Palestinian groups that receive money from Iran, a Shiite nation, that the Sunni al Qaeda saw as an "infidel" state. The group also asked whether it was permissible to invest money in the stock market in support of jihad, and asked for guidance on whether an operative could kill a drug dealer to use their money, and use drugs to lure people to serve as possible double agents against their enemies.

While Atiyya claims he lacks the necessary expertise to advise on the technicalities of the stock market, he told the group the killing of drug traffickers is "permissible in specific circumstances." The legitimacy for illicit activity is granted in the guidance, as long as it does not lead to a greater corruption of the individual's values.

While drugs and alcohol are prohibited items in Islam, proceeds gained from these vices are permissible to spend exclusively in the furtherance of jihad, Atiyya's guidance stated, if there are no other means available.

And accepting money from Iran is also permissible, according to the letter - unless it is solely derived from prohibited means such as drugs, alcohol, or the meat of improperly slaughtered animals. If such methods are confirmed as the source of the money, Atiyya said, "then the proper thing is that it not be permitted to be taken."

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  94. Everett Wallace

    As often as bin laden picture is across the media you are turning him into a martyr. Now photos posted of the Twin Towers demolish, now that I like. never forget who and what we are up against.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • Issac

      Israel is the most endangered, we need aid NOW!!

      DIDN'T YOU READ?? THEY ARE TAKING MONEY FROM IRAN!!!

      PUT BOOTS IN IRAN AND PROTECT ISRAEL NOW!!!

      Israel comes first.

      If the Arab race has to be destroyed to prevent another Jewish slaughter, so be it.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
      • The Independent

        Issac, you can go and die for your own country. No Pain, No Gain... but honestly, if you can't get along with the rest of the world.. your problem...

        May 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
      • James

        You may want to add to your name to read: Isaac bin Hitler bin Adolf Laden. It sounds a proper name for you.

        May 3, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
      • Issac

        Lol....America WILL support Israel.

        Or else.

        May 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
      • YoungMarine

        or else what America would wipe your country off the map

        May 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
      • octopus

        man you're a psychotic imposer who wants to give Israelis a bad name, go away.

        May 4, 2012 at 2:57 am |
      • James

        Isaac, your kind used the false propaganda of the nonexisting AlQaeda-Saddam relationship to get US involved in Iraq war costing US tax payers until now 3 trillion dollars. As MSNBC reports here (link below) the relationship between AlQaea and Iran has been antagonistic in spite of necon propaganda. One cannot say the same about the US or Israel that have had convenient relationship with AlQaeda from time to time, using AlQaeda operatives in Libya recently against Qaddafi, in Pakistan (Jundullah has been used by Israel to assassinate Iranian scientists reported by Haaretz and foreign policy magazine) and of course Bin Laden himself that worked with CIA in the 80s.

        http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/03/11526451-al-qaida-kidnapped-iranian-envoy-in-bid-to-free-bin-laden-kin-colleagues?lite

        May 4, 2012 at 5:01 am |
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