Bin Laden's Final Worries: Crops, Human Lawnmowers

Anniversary is nigh, and details keep trickling out
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2012 8:46 AM CDT
This undated image taken from video released by Qatar's Al-Jazeera televison broadcast Oct. 5, 2001, shows Osama bin Laden.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Al-Jazeera via APTN)

(Newser) – Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, and current and former US officials are apparently marking the date by revealing more tidbits contained in the 10,000-plus documents recovered from computers, hard drives, and storage devices found in his Abbottabad hideout. Many of them are old-hat (he wanted to kill Obama, he thought about rebranding al-Qaeda). Other highlights:

  • A former intelligence official tells the Washington Post that, according to his writings, bin Laden was none-too-pleased about an idea cooked up by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists: to build a "human lawnmower" out of a pickup truck and rotating blades that could be driven into crowds. Bin Laden "felt it conflicted with his vision for what he wanted al-Qaeda to be."

  • MSNBC confirms that bin Laden was not a leader in name only. "Everything "went through him," down to communications from field ops. The Post notes that he pushed to have oversight over what had become a scattered network of terrorists that had reached Yemen and Somalia.
  • But he sweated the small stuff, too, weighing in on less consequential topics like which crops al-Shabab allies in Somalia should farm.
  • The New York Post reports, by way of the Times of London, that the Pakistani doctor who assisted the CIA in its hunt for bin Laden via a fake vaccination program did more than just that: He helped confirm the presence of bin Laden at the compound by getting his hands on bin Laden's courier's phone number and calling him. The doctor is apparently being held by ISI.
  • And, some quirk: Want your very own piece of where bin Laden spent his final days? The contractor who razed the Abbottabad compound is selling bricks ... for less than a nickel, reports MSNBC.

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