Bin Laden not "puppet master": U.S. report on seized documents

Reuters News
Posted: May 03, 2012 10:05 AM
Bin Laden not "puppet master": U.S. report on seized documents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was not the "puppet master" of jihadi groups around the world and was burdened by what he saw as their "incompetence," according to an analysis of documents seized from his hideout in Pakistan.

The Combating Terrorism Center, a privately funded research center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, posted on its website on Thursday some declassified documents taken in the raid on bin Laden's house in Abbottabad in which he was killed by U.S. forces a year ago. (

"On the basis of the 17 declassified documents, Bin Ladin 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. "Bin Ladin was burdened by what he saw as their incompetence."

The center spells bin Laden's name as Bin Ladin.

The al Qaeda leader who was the subject of an intense manhunt after the September 11, 2001, attacks "was unimpressed by the recent trend of American populist jihad" and did not hold American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in high esteem, the report said. Awlaki was killed in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike last year.

Awlaki is mentioned in one letter, assessed to be from bin Laden who writes, as translated: "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."

(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Jackie Frank)