Published On: Fri, May 4th, 2012

Osama bin Laden letters seized during capture released by US

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A selection of documents seized by the United States which detail the communiques of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden have been posted online.

The 17 letters, posted online by the US Army’s Combating Terrorism Center on Thursday, reveal the al-Qaeda leader to be weary of dysfunction in his terrorist network.

Bin Laden feared a loss of trust from Muslim populations he had hoped to incite against their governments and Western powers.

The deaths of the network’s leadership, in quick succession, amplified bin Laden’s fears for the prospects of his organisation’s survival.

Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Washington, said bin Laden feared the actions of “so-called al-Qaeda affiliates”, would hurt the al-Qaeda “brand”.

“Experts have described the seized papers as the motherlode of terrorism documents,” said Fisher.

The al-Qaeda leader wanted to reduce attacks that led to the deaths of Muslims and instead “concentrate efforts on the US”, Fisher added.

US critical

Bin Laden had aimed to carry out a large-scale strike, like the September 11 attacks, which he thought would lead to a change in US policy.

He wished especially to target airplanes carrying General David Petraeus and President Barack Obama, reasoning that an assassination of the US president would elevate an “utterly unprepared” vice president, Joe Biden, into the presidency and plunge the US into crisis.

The documents, totaling 175 pages in the original Arabic, were