Osama Was Communicating with Other Terrorists: US

Washington, May 12 (IANS) A handwritten journal taken from Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan show that the slain Al Qaeda leader was communicating with other members of the terrorist group, US media reports citing officials say.

"There are strong indications there is back and forth with other terrorists," CNN reported citing a US official. "These are not just the writings of an elderly jihadi."

There is evidence of two-way written communications demonstrating that not only was bin Laden sending messages, he was getting responses as well, he said.

US officials cited by the WashingtonPost said bin Laden was in touch with frequently and directly with among others Ayman al-Zawahiri, his long time second in command, as well as Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a Libyan operative who is the latest to fill the organization's No. 3 slot.

Bin Laden's personal journal, which was seized during the US raid, includes information about the importance of attacking the US and lists key dates on the American calendar-including July 4, Christmas and the 10th anniversary of Sep 11, 2001 attacks.

At this point, the official said, there is no indication of a time, date or place for any specific attack, and much of what has been seen is more bin Laden ideas than actual plans.

The Post citing US intelligence officials analysing the seized material from the bin Laden, said he was preoccupied with attacking the United States over all other targets, a fixation that led to friction with followers.

Even while sealed inside a cement compound in a Pakistani city, bin Laden functioned like a crime boss pulling strings from a prison cell, it said.

"Bin Laden is saying, 'You've got to focus on the US and the West,' " a senior US intelligence official was quoted as saying.

Bin Laden served as a "chief executive who is giving fairly generic, broad instructions and guidance rather than tactical orders," the official said.


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