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Bin Laden's Journal Found In Navy SEAL Raid

David McAlpine |
May 11, 2011 | 1:56 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The compound where Navy SEALs found Osama bin Laden (via Flickr)
The compound where Navy SEALs found Osama bin Laden (via Flickr)
U.S. officials say one of the documents recovered at Osama bin Laden's compound in northern Pakistan last week was his own hand-written journal filled with plans, ideas and details of many operations against the United States in unknown states of completion.

The journal was one of hundreds of pieces of evidence gathered in last month's raid. The former Al-Qaida leader was notorious for keeping track of his thoughts. His son said in his memoir that his father was an avid keeper of a diary when they lived in Sudan and Afghanistan.

As analysis continue to comb through the documents, both written and electronic, they say they're finding more information that shows that he was still in charge of Al-Qaida when he was found by Navy SEALs.

The Associated Press reports:

Instead, bin Laden was communicating from his walled compound in Pakistan with al-Qaida's offshoots, including the Yemen branch that has emerged as the leading threat to the United States, the documents indicate. Though there is no evidence yet that he was directly behind the attempted Christmas Day 2009 bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner or the nearly successful attack on cargo planes heading for Chicago and Philadelphia, it's now clear that they bear some of bin Laden's hallmarks.

Don't limit attacks to New York City, he said in his writings. Consider other areas such as Los Angeles or smaller cities. Spread out the targets.

In one particularly macabre bit of mathematics, bin Laden's writings show him musing over just how many Americans he must kill to force the U.S. to withdraw from the Arab world. He concludes that small attacks had not been enough. He tells his disciples that only a body count of thousands, something on the scale of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, would shift U.S. policy.

He also schemed about ways to sow political dissent in Washington and play political figures against one another, officials said.

Intelligence officials have not been able to uncover any specific details about more planned plots since they learned of a possible attack on U.S. subway and rail systems on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

Analysts also say they're still unclear how much influence bin Laden had on al-Qaida networks operating in East Africa and the Middle East.



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