Bin Laden hoped to bring down Obama plane

March 16, 2012 at 5:29 PM

WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) -- A plan by Osama bin Laden to kill President Obama by bringing down his plane was never close to execution, U.S. officials said Friday.

Papers seized by the U.S. Navy SEALs who killed bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, also indicate he hoped to kill Gen. David Petraeus the same way, The Washington Post reported. Bin Laden said getting rid of Petraeus would change the course of the Afghanistan war while Vice President Joe Biden would be a "totally unprepared" president.

"The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency," bin Laden said.

Bin Laden was giving directions to his deputy, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, the Post said. He hoped the killings would be carried out by Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani who has since been killed in a U.S. drone strike.

U.S. officials said al-Qaida does not possess the weaponry needed to carry out bin Laden's plans.

"The organization lacks the ability to plan, organize and execute complex, catastrophic attacks, but the threat persists," a senior analyst with the Obama administration said.

The documents also showed bin Laden wanted to attack in the United States while Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor who was al-Qaida's No. 2, wanted to pick softer U.S. targets in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bin Laden was upset when regional groups did not focus on the Palestinian question when they carried out attacks, instead talking about local issues.

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