Bin Laden 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Osama bin Laden rebuked terrorists in his network for not making the Palestinian
cause a primary issue, saying it was necessary to discuss Palestine
That statement – delivered after a December 2009 suicide attack on
a CIA base in Afghanistan – and others like it were in a cache of documents made
available by US authorities to The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, who
included them in a column on Friday.
The CIA base attack was instead
motivated by revenge for the killing of a Pakistani Taliban leader, the
terrorists had said.
Bin Laden, who was assassinated last year by the US,
did not make Palestine an issue until the early 2000s. In the 1990s, he focused
on the US presence in Saudi Arabia as his primary reason for targeting
Some analysts have suggested that bin Laden’s decision to
emphasize Palestine was tactical, made in the wake of the attention generated by
the second intifada. Ignatius’s revelations suggest the terrorist leader had
come to attach ideological import to the issue.
According to Ignatius,
the al-Qaida leader said US President Barack Obama’s decision to abandon the
term “war on terror” – which was used by his predecessor, George W. Bush – had
damaged the terrorist organization. He said Obama’s officials had stopped using
the phrase “in the context of not wanting to provoke Muslims,” and that by
naming al-Qaida as the enemy, they had diminished the organization’s
Ignatius also revealed that bin Laden’s spokesman, Adam
Gadahn, advised him to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks with a video statement to US media – but not to the Fox News
“As for Fox News – let her die in her anger,” he said. (Formerly
named Adam Pearlman, Gadahn is an American, born a Christian, whose grandfather
was Jewish.) The documents found at bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan also
indicate that before his death, he directed operatives to assassinate Obama and
US Gen. David H. Petraeus, the then-commander of the International
Security Assistance Force.
According to the report, bin Laden explained
to his top lieutenant his reasoning for targeting the two.
“Obama is the
head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make [US Vice President
Joe] Biden take over the presidency,” he said. “Biden is totally unprepared for
that post, which will lead the US into a crisis.”
“As for Petraeus, he is
the man of the hour... and killing him would alter the war’s path in
Afghanistan,” he added.