Bin Laden urged cronies to stress Palestinian cause

'Washington Post' reports arch-terrorist directed operatives to assassinate Obama and US Gen. David H. Petraeus.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, JTA
March 17, 2012 08:25
2 minute read.
Slain al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden

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 first.

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.

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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 Americans.

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 popularity.

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 Channel.

“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.


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