A selection of documents seized in last year’s raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan house was posted online on Thursday by the US Army’s Combating Terrorism Centre.
The documents show dark days for al-Qaeda and its hunkered-down leader after years of attacks by the United States and what bin Laden saw as bumbling within his own organisation and its terrorist allies.
“I plan to release a statement that we are starting a new phase to correct (the mistakes) we made,” bin Laden wrote in 2010. “In doing so, we shall reclaim, God willing, the trust of a large segment of those who lost their trust in the jihadis.”
Until the end, bin Laden remained focused on attacking Americans and coming up with plots, however improbable, to kill US leaders.
He wished especially to target airplanes carrying General David Petraeus and even US President Barack Obama, reasoning that an assassination would elevate an “utterly unprepared” Vice President Joe Biden into the presidency and plunge the US into crisis.