Bin Laden had little control before death

Dec. 8, 2011 at 10:06 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Documents seized from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan after his death indicate he had little al-Qaida operational command, a U.S. expert said.

A team of U.S. Navy SEALs in May stormed bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, killing the al-Qaida leader roughly 10 years after the terrorist group launched its Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

A U.S. expert who reviewed documents seized from the Abbottobad compound was quoted by The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London as saying it had been "quite a while since he was involved in the day-to-day management of the organization."

The source said the bulk of the documents taken from the compound concerned family matters.

"In one small blue notebook from February 2010, he wonders if one member should be promoted, who should be named to replace another killed in a drone raid," the source added on condition he remain anonymous. "But nothing about operational management of the organization."

Ayman al Zawahiri assumed the leadership of al-Qaida after bin Laden was killed. Al Arabiya, in a recent documentary, alleges that Zawahiri sent someone to bin Laden's compound in Pakistan who was known to be trailed by the CIA.

Al-Arabiya notes that each time Zawahiri ascended to a higher position in al-Qaida's hierarchy, one of the cabal's leaders was killed.

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