In a special report, The Washington Post said that papers found in Osama bin Laden's compound indicated that he was plotting attacks on President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus.
The plan would have involved organizing special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack aircrafts carrying the President and Gen. Petraeus. Bin Laden said, "The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make (Vice President Joe) Biden take over the presidency. … Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour … and killing him would alter the war’s path."
Officials from the Obama administration said on Friday that the plot was never considered a serious threat.
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ABC News confirmed the papers and a national security official downplayed the plot, telling ABC that bin Laden wanted to kill as many innocent people as possible. The official said, "Al Qaeda’s capabilities did not match bin Laden’s intent. Leading up to and since bin Laden’s death we know that Al Qaeda’s capacity to pull off those types of complex attacks has been greatly diminished, and that bin Laden himself spent much of his time brooding and providing guidance that often fell on deaf ears."
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According to The Post, bin Laden wrote to Atiyah Abd al-Rahman that he was hoping Ilyas Kashmiri could carry out the attacks. Kashimiri was killed in a drone attack a month after bin Laden's death.
The Telegraph also reported that bin Laden was concerned with Al Qaeda's image. He noted that the Obama administration's reframing of the war from a "war on terror" to a war against Al Qaeda had damaged its image among Muslims. The group was apparently hoping to launch an attack on the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
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