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Jul 15 - Bin Laden was planning to shoot down Air Force One with Obama inside
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Documents found at Bin Laden's lair reveal attack was in planning stages
Other communications seized have not yielded many concrete leads
But they have revealed Bin Laden may have been losing his grip on Al Qaeda
Osama bin Laden was planning a terrorist outrage to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with Barack Obama number one on his hit list.
The former leader of Al Qaeda wanted to shoot down the U.S. President’s jet Air Force One during a trip abroad.
He also wanted to murder General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and was still obsessed with using planes to carry out terror attacks.
Plot: Osama bin Laden had been planning to attack the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Every year since the initial attack two blue lights have shone in the place of the towers in memory of the victims
The terror chief had already begun putting a team of militants together for the attack, according to communications seized by Navy Seals from his Pakistani lair.
Ideally one of his followers would fly a jet into a major sporting event in America, leading to massive loss of life.
The disclosures came from the ‘treasure trove’ of intelligence seized at the mansion hideout in Pakistan where bin Laden was k!lled during a raid by U.S. special forces earlier this year.
Officials say that the attack he was planning was in the preliminary stage and that bin Laden had been discussing who would carry it out with his operations chief Attiyah Abd al-Rahman.
The plan was to shoot down Air Force one or Marine One, the President’s helicopter, whilst it was in mid-flight by firing a missile or rocket propelled grenade from another aircraft.
General Petraeus would also be k!lled in a similar fashion, the documents show.
Former FBI agent Brad Garrett said that despite improvements in security the plan to hijack a small jet and fly it into a sports stadium could work.
‘We have so many small airports, you could fly below radar,’ he said. ‘That's possibly doable.'
Although at the embryonic stage, the details of the plot lead CIA acting director Michael Morell to tell staff that one of their top priorities was to ensure such an attack never took place.
The haul of computers and handwritten journals recovered from the compound in Abottabad have taught CIA operatives more in the past weeks than they knew in the previous 10 years.
But he had been having disagreements with his operations chief Attiyah Abd al-Rahman, on who should be included in the attack team, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Interestingly Bin Laden may have been losing his grip on control of the terror group. According to other materials in the treasure trove of documents found at his Abottabad lair during the May 2 raid, he was often ignored by his henchmen.
'What we found was that he was very isolated, and it is clearly the case he was struggling to continue to hold on to the type of influence and to direct operations in ways he may have been able to do in the past,' a U.S. official said.
Plans for an attack on the 9/11 anniversary were only in the discussion phase, according to U.S. officials who added they hadn't seen any signs the plot was ready to be carried out.
The plot was one of a smattering of threats to come out of the materials seized during the raid in which Bin Laden was k!lled.
In those first days afterwards, intelligence officials confirmed there had been strong evidence Bin Laden was all for carrying out attacks on significant American dates - July 4 and September 11 for example.
But this is the first time they have spoken of an actual attempt planned for this year's anniversary.
Counter-terrorism staff from half-a-dozen U.S. agencies have now raked over the entire bounty collected from the raid, but have had little success extracting any concrete leads from the documents.
Intelligence: Documents seized in the raid indicated Bin Laden was keen to carry out future attacks on significant American dates, like July 4, left, and September 11, right
Information including phone numbers that could have led to other terrorist leaders were rendered useless almost as soon as they fell into the Government's hands, officials revealed.
'The treasure trove has not led to any big takedowns, because the bad guys knew we had it and adapted,' a senior U.S. official told the Journal.
The two phone numbers that Bin Laden had sewn into his clothing at the time of his death led nowhere, they added.
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Situation room: Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton receive an update on the mission against bin Laden before he is k!lled by U.S Navy Seals
One connected to a public phone centre in the tribal areas of Pakistan; the other was a dead end.
Other numbers scattered about the compound also led nowhere.
Meanwhile relations between the U.S. and Pakistan continue to go down hill. The Pakistani government are livid about the raid, claiming not to have known anything about it before it was carried out.
The Obama administration, worried about leaks within the Pakistani government, didn't want to tell Islamabad before the raid, it has been reported.
Some U.S. officials believe certain fractions of the Pakistani government knew about Bin Laden's whereabouts.
The CIA has met repeatedly with Pakistan's intelligence agency to try and smooth things over. The most recent meeting came today when Pakistan intelligence chief, Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha met with CIA acting Director Michael Morell to discus how the two nations could move forward in the f!ght against terrorism.
The Obama administration announce last Sunday it was suspending $800million in aid to Pakistan, as a punishment for what it sees as not aiding the ongoing counter-terrorism threat.
[pic - click to view] Bin Laden was planning to shoot down Air Force One with Obama inside | Mail Online
Last edited by Bass G; 07-17-2011 at 06:53 AM..