climate change

US releases 17 documents from Bin Laden compound

Agence France-Presse
In one letter to deputies, Osama bin Laden worried about Al-Qaeda attacks causing 'unnecessary civilian casualties' in Muslim countries

WASHINGTON, United States of America – The United States on Thursday, May 3, released 17 documents found at Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound in the raid that killed the Al-Qaeda chief a year ago.

The White House allowed the declassified documents to be published online by the Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point military academy. The papers include letters or draft letters dated from September 2006 to April 2011, a total of 175 pages in the original Arabic.

The documents reveal internal correspondence inside the Al-Qaeda network, including letters authored by Bin Laden and leaders of the group’s affiliate in Yemen and fellow militants in Somalia and Pakistan.

The release of the documents were part of a nearly week-long commemoration of the anniversary of the bin Laden killing, with President Barack Obama and his deputies recounting in interviews the secret nighttime raid by US Navy SEALS that killed the Al-Qaeda mastermind.

In a letter he wrote in May 2010, bin Laden worried about Al-Qaeda attacks causing “unnecessary” Muslim casualties and advised his deputies to take more care to spare civilian lives.

The Al-Qaeda chief underscores “the need to cancel other attacks due to the possible and unnecessary civilian casualties” in Muslim countries, according to the letter.

“We ask every emir in the regions to be extremely keen and focused on controlling the military work,” he wrote, referring to Al-Qaeda attacks.

Losing sympathy

Bin Laden expressed concern about his network losing the sympathy of Muslims and described operations killing Muslims as “mistakes,” adding that was important that “no Muslims fall victim except when it is absolutely essential.”

“It would lead us to winning several battles while losing the war at the end,” he wrote.

The letter was among 17 declassified documents that the White House allowed to be published online by the Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point military academy. – Agence France-Presse