U.S. officials say a personal journal was seized in the raid on Osama’s compound, revealing “musings on al Qaeda” and plans for future attacks. Plus, the latest updates on politics after bin Laden’s death below and full coverage.
Bin Laden's Journal Seized
A day in the life: U.S. officials said Wednesday that a personal journal belonging to bin Laden was seized in the raid on his compound last week. The diary, which they say details his professional thoughts rather than personal ones, reportedly contains "musings on al Qaeda" as well as plans for future terrorist attacks, listing possible targets. Bin Laden suggested striking smaller cities, trains as well as planes, and, most chillingly, emphasized high body counts.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything in there like, ‘I had trouble with one of my wives today,'" an official tells the National Journal. Sources say it's not certain that the diary belongs to bin Laden yet, but intelligence teams are working on the assumption that it is. If it’s his, it’s a clear indication that the al Qaeda chief was still involved in planning operations—though there’s no indication that his latest plans were ever put into action.
Gallery: Osama bin Laden's Favorite Things
Revenge for bin Laden
The leader of an al Qaeda group has vowed to take revenge on the U.S. for the death of Osama bin Laden. Nasir al-Wahishi, leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said in a message posted on Islamist websites, “What is waiting for you is far greater and more dangerous, and you will then count your regrets, wishing for the days of Osama.” He also directly threatened any Arab leaders cooperating with the U.S., specifically the Yemeni and Saudi governments. Earlier this year, Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center said that AQAP was “the most significant risk to the U.S. homeland.” AQAP has claimed responsibility for the attempted “underwear” bombing of a plane on Christmas Day 2009, and the parcel bomb plot last November.
Obama Touts Post-Osama World
President Obama is planning to renew Muslim outreach in the coming days, in order to appeal to the Muslim world after the death of Osama bin Laden. A senior U.S. official tells The Wall Street Journal that Obama will deliver the message as part of a wide-ranging speech as early as next week when he visits Europe. He will argue that the Muslim world is at a crossroads, with bin Laden representing the old way and the democratic uprisings in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere representing the future. The U.S. is having its diplomats sing a similar song on Arab television and radio. The Obama administration is undecided, however, on whether to lay out a concrete Israel-Palestine peace plan.
CIA: New bin Laden Lead Every Hour
This is definitely promising. The CIA said Tuesday that it has been able to glean new leads every hour from the massive cache of intelligence snatched from Osama bin Laden’s compound during the raid that killed him. A U.S. official said the SEAL team spent “at least half” of the 40 minutes on the ground at bin Laden’s compound gathering intelligence, because the target was killed “relatively early” in the operation. A task force has been working around-the-clock analyzing the data—videos and more than 220 million pages of text—and has found leads on everything from other terrorist leaders to how bin Laden communicated with al Qaeda.
Some Senators to See bin Laden Photos
The CIA has told two Senate committees that their members will be allowed to see post-mortem photos of Osama bin Laden, if they wish. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Armed Services committee have been invited to make appointments to with the CIA to view the photographs. The photos will still not be released to the general public.