More Evidence Of Osama bin Laden’s Importance

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 12, 2011

So much for the belief that bin Laden was just some al Qaeda front man with no operational control:

Deep in hiding, his terror organization becoming battered and fragmented, Osama bin Laden kept pressing followers to find new ways to hit the U.S., officials say, citing his private journal and other documents recovered in last week’s raid.

Strike smaller cities, bin Laden suggested. Target trains as well as planes. Above all, kill as many Americans as possible in a single attack.

Though he was out of the public eye and al-Qaida seemed to be weakening, bin Laden never yielded control of his worldwide organization, U.S. officials said Wednesday. His personal, handwritten journal and his massive collection of computer files reveal his hand at work in every recent major al-Qaida threat, including plots in Europe last year that had travelers and embassies on high alert, two officials said.

They described the intelligence to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about what was found in bin Laden’s hideout. Analysts are continuing to review the documents.

The information shatters the government’s conventional thinking about bin Laden, who had been regarded for years as mostly an inspirational figurehead whose years in hiding made him too marginalized to maintain operational control of the organization he founded.

See also this post. All of this information means that killing bin Laden has turned out to be even more of a no-brainer. It would have been valuable enough to kill the poster boy for al Qaeda. It’s even more valuable that we got the man who was both the poster boy, and the operational head.

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