This preoccupation with attacking the United States -- even while ensconced in the Pakistani residence from where the al-Qaida leader operated like a crime boss issuing instructions -- set off frictions with his followers, U.S. intelligence officials told The Washington Post.
The officials, studying and probing the huge cache of materials recovered from the compound, said the items contain handwritten journals, long-winded compositions on computer hard drives, piles of paper documents, flash drives and laptops.
Bin Laden was killed in a raid by a U.S. Navy SEALs team in a May 2 predawn raid on his compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad, northeast of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
The intelligence officials told the Post bin Laden was constantly looking for ways to make another strike similar to the Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaida attacks on the United States, and urged his supporters to recruit non-Muslims "who are oppressed in the United States," to devise a plot for the 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks. The official said Afghanistan and Pakistan were low on bin Laden's priority list.
The officials said some of his followers, concerned more with regional matters, did not appreciate such pressures to concentrate on the United States, as they were more interested on smaller operations in Yemen, Somalia, Algeria and other places.
"Bin Laden is saying, 'You've got to focus on the U.S. and the West,' " a senior U.S. intelligence official told the Post, but some of his supporters were not interested in doing anything that would draw a U.S. response.
"Bin Laden got lazy and complacent," said an official. "I don't think he thought he would meet his maker in that house. And he certainly didn't make any preparations" to escape the Navy SEAL raid or destroy the information in the compound.
The official said the bin Laden materials, have confirmed "our view that AQAP (Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) is first among equals in terms of relationships with al-Qaida core."