WASHINGTON - Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was frustrated with regional affiliates of his movement and complained of their incompetence, newly released documents revealed Thursday, May 3.
"On the basis of the 17 declassified documents, Bin Laden was not, as many thought, the puppet master pulling the strings that set in motion jihadi groups around the world," a report on the documents by the Combating Terrorism Center said, Reuters reported.
"Bin Laden was burdened by what he saw as their incompetence."
Bin Laden, whose group claimed the responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, was killed in a US raid in Abbottabad in Pakistan last year.
A cache of more than 6,000 documents were seized from bin Laden's hideout after his death, of which 17 documents were posted online by the center, a research wing of the US military academy.
The documents showed that bin Laden regarded many of Al-Qaeda's affiliated groups, including Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula in Yemen, with disdain.
The documents showed that bin Laden was worried about the AQAP and urged its leadership to focus efforts on attacking US targets rather than Yemeni government or security forces.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Iraq was also a source of concern for bin Laden because of its killing of Shiite civilians following the 2003 US invasion.
According to the documents, one of Al-Qaeda's main English-language spokesmen, American-born Adam Gadahn, even suggested that the main movement group should disassociate itself from Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
At one point Gadahn compared the activities of the Iraqi group to the policies of former US President George W. Bush, who had launched the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Bin Laden also apparently wanted to keep Al-Qaeda's Somalia-based affiliate, Al-Shabaab, at arm's length because he was concerned about its poor organization, management and brutality.
The documents are electronic letters or draft letters totaling 175 pages in the original Arabic, dating from September 2006 to April 2011, and they do not all state who wrote or received them.
The documents also said that bin Laden was unimpressed by the recent trend of American populist jihad."
He appeared to have little regard for Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen accused of instigating a number of violent Al-Qaeda attacks from Yemen and who was killed in a US drone strike last year.
"I hope that he be informed of us still needing more information from the battlefield in Yemen, so that it is feasible for us, with the help of God, to make the most appropriate decision to either escalate or calm down," bin Laden wrote of Awlaki in one letter.
The released documents also showed that bin Laden's relationship with the Pakistani Taliban was so strained that the group almost came into "direct and public confrontation" with Al-Qaeda's central leadership over its indiscriminate attacks on Muslim civilians.
The documents also showed that bin Laden was worried by the Muslim killings in Al-Qaeda attacks.
"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.
He was concerned about his militant movement 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.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net