Bin Laden Documents Detail Worries About al-Qaeda

His subordinates carped about not having enough money
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2011 12:39 PM CDT
A 1998 photo of Osama bin Laden.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – The Washington Post has more details about Osama bin Laden's correspondence, and they reinforce the notion that he was worried about al-Qaeda's dwindling finances and military might. One thing never changed, though: “The trove makes it clear that bin Laden’s primary goal—you can call it an obsession—was to attack the US homeland,” says one US official. “He pushed for this every way he could.”

Other highlights:

  • He worried about CIA drone strikes. One top al-Qaeda official wrote him that "their guys were getting killed faster than they could be replaced,” said the US official.
  • He set up a unit to root out spies, but its leader wrote that he couldn't make a dent on his "very low" budget.
  • Before the Arab Spring, he warned groups in Yemen and elsewhere that al-Qaeda was nowhere near ready to set up an Islamic state.
  • He ordered the creation of a group last year to raise money by kidnapping diplomats.

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