Osama Bin Laden’s death came as a triumph and as a shock at the same time. The overall event is still under somewhat scrutiny and controversy continues to spark with news that U.S. authorities are going to release documents seized during last year’s raid in Pakistan that lead to Bin Laden’s death. Today, Bin Laden’s last written words will go online.
Despite his death, Bin Laden continues to make the news. The latest on Bin Laden comes from the United States authorities that searched and confiscated documents from his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. About one year later, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point published Bin Laden’s final words online.
In Bin Laden’s compound, U.S. forces found five computers and several dozens of hard drives and storage devices that they searched thoroughly. Some 6,000 documents have been published online, but what’s being kept under lock is obviously of much more interest than what’s being released for public audience.
Described by U.S. officials to be the “single largest collection of senior terrorist material ever obtained”, most of Bin Laden’s secrets are kept under key. The documents published today have been ruled to be Bin Laden’s last words and they pertain to the leader’s despair over Al-Qaida’s failures.
Peter Bergen is a terrorism analyst for CNN and author of the book called “Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad”. He said earlier this week that the documents found by the U.S. forces “paint a portrait of a man who was simultaneously an inveterate micromanager, but was also someone almost delusional in his belief” that al-Qaida could still impact U.S. foreign policy for the Muslim nations with “another big attack”.
The documents in question show Bin Laden’s attempt to revam the al-Qaida brand. Apparently, as the Muslim world began to reduce its support for al-Qaida, Ben Laden was trying to “soften” the organization’s image so it would not scare away investors and financial donors. The documents even contain an advice given to Al-Shabaab leader to avoid making connections with al-Qaida in order to ensure financial donors won’t back down. It only comes to show that terrorism is a business, just like any other.