Five years ago, on a trip to South Asia, I asked a former Pakistani ambassador where Osama bin Laden was hiding. The ambassador replied that he would be found in a safe house built by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, near a military headquarters. I was taken aback, but the ambassador expressed complete confidence in this speculation. Clearly, Pakistanis understood their complex relationships with terror and with Washington; Americans took years to catch up.
What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden
…The Pakistani government, under President Pervez Musharraf and his intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was maintaining and protecting the Taliban, both to control the many groups of militants now lodged in the country and to use them as a proxy force to gain leverage over and eventually dominate Afghanistan. The dynamic has played out in ways that can be hard to grasp from the outside, but the strategy that has evolved in Pakistan has been to make a show of cooperation with the American fight against terrorism while covertly abetting and even coordinating Taliban, Kashmiri and foreign Qaeda-linked militants. The linchpin in this two-pronged and at times apparently oppositional strategy is the ISI. It’s through that agency that Pakistan’s true relationship to militant extremism can be discerned — a fact that the United States was slow to appreciate, and later refused to face directly, for fear of setting off a greater confrontation with a powerful Muslim nation.
…Soon after the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s house, a Pakistani official told me that the United States had direct evidence that the ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, knew of Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad. The information came from a senior United States official, and I guessed that the Americans had intercepted a phone call of Pasha’s or one about him in the days after the raid. “He knew of Osama’s whereabouts, yes,” the Pakistani official told me. The official was surprised to learn this and said the Americans were even more so. Pasha had been an energetic opponent of the Taliban and an open and cooperative counterpart for the Americans at the ISI. “Pasha was always their blue-eyed boy,” the official said. But in the weeks and months after the raid, Pasha and the ISI press office strenuously denied that they had any knowledge of Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad.
…In trying to prove that the ISI knew of Bin Laden’s whereabouts and protected him, I struggled for more than two years to piece together something other than circumstantial evidence and suppositions from sources with no direct knowledge. Only one man, a former ISI chief and retired general, Ziauddin Butt, told me that he thought Musharraf had arranged to hide Bin Laden in Abbottabad. But he had no proof and, under pressure, claimed in the Pakistani press that he’d been misunderstood. Finally, on a winter evening in 2012, I got the confirmation I was looking for. According to one inside source, the ISI actually ran a special desk assigned to handle Bin Laden. It was operated independently, led by an officer who made his own decisions and did not report to a superior. He handled only one person: Bin Laden. I was sitting at an outdoor cafe when I learned this, and I remember gasping, though quietly so as not to draw attention. (Two former senior American officials later told me that the information was consistent with their own conclusions.) This was what Afghans knew, and Taliban fighters had told me, but finally someone on the inside was admitting it. The desk was wholly deniable by virtually everyone at the ISI — such is how supersecret intelligence units operate — but the top military bosses knew about it, I was told.
From Pakistan, answers needed about Osama bin Laden
By David Ignatius, Published: April 3
Let’s see if we’ve got the numbers straight: Osama bin Laden lived in five houses in Pakistan, fathered four children there, kept three wives who took dictation for his rambling directives to his terror network, had two children born in public hospitals — and through it all, the Pakistani government did not know one single thing about his whereabouts?
Can this possibly be true? I suppose that if U.S. intelligence officials could fail to connect the dots about the 9/11 plot, then perhaps Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate could be equally incompetent. And U.S. officials, with the cautious tone of witnesses who hope they won’t have to testify at the trial, keep repeating that they haven’t found the “smoking gun” that would confirm official Pakistani knowledge about the al-Qaeda chief hiding in Abbottabad.
But this isn’t a question for Americans, really. It’s a matter for Pakistani officials. They can tear down bin Laden’s compound — as Pakistani bulldozers did recently in a cleansing maneuver that reminded me of Lady Macbeth’s famous line, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!” But they can’t wish away questions about the jihadist network that surrounded bin Laden and his accomplices during their nearly decade-long sojourn in the country. Here are some questions Pakistanis (with U.S. acquiescence) have been ducking too long:
● How did bin Laden come to settle in Abbottabad? His movements are described by his youngest wife, Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, in an Islamabad police report. She says that “everything was arranged by” two men she called “Ibrahim” and “Abrar” who shared their safe houses in the Swat Valley, Haripur and, finally, Abbottabad.
What did the Pakistani authorities know about these Pashtun brothers? U.S. officials believe that one of them, known as Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, was bin Laden’s key courier. An intrepid Associated Press reporter found last week their house in Haripur; the real estate broker said he had rented it to “Salim and Javed Khan,” who claimed to be from Charsadda, just north of Peshawar.
The AP reported that, according to a relative of the house’s owner, “two months ago, several ISI agents took all the records of the house and its tenants.” The same thing seems to have happened with the property records for the Abbottabad compound. What do these documents show? The ISI should explain.
● What role was played by Brig. Ijaz Shah? According to comments by Gen. Ziauddin Butt, a former ISI chief, Shah arranged the al-Qaeda leader’s 2005 move to Abbottabad. At the time, Shah, a retired ISI officer, was running another spy agency, the Intelligence Bureau, for his patron, President Pervez Musharraf.
Shah’s name had surfaced in February 2002 as the alleged handler of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who claimed a role in kidnapping Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. It turned out that Pearl had been handed over to Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the al-Qaeda mastermind, who beheaded him. Some Pakistanis argue that Sheikh was part of a jihadist organization, Harkat ul-Mujaheddin, that had close ties to Shah and the ISI. What does the ISI say?
● And where was the notorious KSM hiding out when he was captured in March 2003? He was at a Rawalpindi safe house linked to Ahmed Abdul Qudoos Khan, who is described in press reports as a member of Pakistan’s oldest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami. Pakistani analysts say this group, too, has long had quiet links with the ISI and the military.
● How about Abu Zubaida, the al-Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan in March 2002? He was seized in Faisalabad at what was described in press reports as a safe house for the Kashmiri militant group Lashkar-i-Taiba, which is also alleged to have close links with the ISI. The ISI is said to have joined in his capture, but did they have advance word he was there?
● What about the Pakistani sojourn of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian al-Qaeda operative involved in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa? He was captured in July 2004 in the eastern city of Gujrat, far from the tribal areas. How did he get there? And what about Ramzi Binalshibh, a facilitator of the 9/11 attacks who was captured in September 2002 in Karachi. How did he make his way undetected to Pakistan’s commercial capital?
Perhaps the answers to these questions will show the ISI in a favorable light, providing helpful intelligence to the CIA. Perhaps they will tell a darker story of concealment and complicity. Either way, it’s time for some answers.
DE BORCHGRAVE: Pakistan’s paranoia created bin Laden
Fear of India prompted intel agency to fan extremist flames in Afghanistan
By Arnaud de Borchgrave The Washington Times 6:37 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Osama bin Laden established close bonds with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan . Al Qaeda (“the Base”) was set up by bin Laden to keep track of volunteers flocking in from all over the Arab world to fight the Soviets.
After the 1989 Soviet defeat and withdrawal from Afghanistan, bin Laden went home to Saudi Arabia where he quickly fell afoul of the royal family for objecting to the arrival of U.S. troops in 1990 to repel the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
Expelled fromSaudi Arabia, he found exile in Khartoum, Sudan, and began organizing al Qaeda by contacting veterans of the Afghan campaign. Under U.S. pressure, Sudanexpelledbin Laden, and he opted to go to Afghanistan. No Western power objected.
In Afghanistan, he immediately joined forces with Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader who had just occupied Kabul after emerging victorious from the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal. Pakistan’s ISI was Mullah Omar’s principal foreign support. The Taliban – a student movement – was ISI’s creation, designed to give Pakistan “defense in depth” in the event of an Indian invasion.
In the spring of 2001, six months before Sept. 11, Mullah Omar and bin Laden were joint commencement speakers at the “University for the Education of Truth,” a sprawling madrasa in Khattak, on the main road from Islamabad to Peshawar. On June 4 that year, this reporter and UPI ‘s South Asian consultant, Ammar Turabi, met with Mullah Omar in Kandahar.
It quickly became clear that Mullah Omar was beginning to find bin Laden’s presence overbearing, Thousands of jihadis from all over the Arab world and other Muslim countries were training in some 20 camps. Mullah Omar complained openly about “a man who talks too much and issues fatwas for which he has no religious authority.”
After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan on Oct, 7, 2001, bin Laden ordered his followers to repair ASAP to a series of interlocking caves in a mountain base – Tora Bora – that straddled the border with Pakistan and had played a key role in the war against the Soviets.
After a constant pounding by B-52 bombers – some 700,000 pounds of explosives, including 15,000-pound Daisy Cutters, from Dec. 4 to 7 – bin Laden emerged Dec. 9 with some 50 fighters. A fleet of SUVs met them at the exit of the Tirah Valley and drove off in the direction of Peshawar.
Mr. Turabi and this reporter had been tipped by a prominent tribal leader in the region – one with 600,000 pairs of eyes and ears – where to meet the bin Laden escapees. We arrived Dec. 11 and missed the group by two days. But there was still no Pakistani blocking force in the area as the Pak army said there was.
For the past 10 years, bin Laden has enjoyed the protection of ISI’s “Section S,” which officially does not exist. These are pre-selected intelligence and special-ops officers who retire officially and then take up new duties in Section S. A retired ISI source told this reporter that this system is the umbrella of plausible deniability.
Pakistan has all the earmarks of a split personality. Part of the country’s intelligence apparatus has cooperated, and unknown parts have not. The Pakistani establishment sees 65 percent of Americans against the war in Afghanistan. It also knows that America’s 44 allies in Afghanistan can’t wait to get home. They originally signed up to assist their American friends in the wake of Sept. 11, fully expecting to be out of Afghanistan in six to nine months, not six to nine years.
Unspoken, but firmly believed by Pakistan’s powers that be, is the return to power in Kabul of a reformed Taliban, with equal rights for women and rid of its medieval form of government. The guarantor? Pakistan.
Bin Laden ’s demise is an emotional victory for the United States, but countless millions of Pakistanis and millions of others in Muslim countries will convince themselves that this is a yet another CIA/Mossad conspiracy and that bin Laden is still alive.
After all, hundreds of millions still believe Sept. 11 itself was the original conspiracy between U.S. and Israeli intelligence, designed to push back the frontiers of Islam and provide a pretext for getting closer to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and seizing it.
Even Western-educated Pakistani conspiracy buffs feed off some of the more bizarre U.S. retaliatory capabilities.
The sad truth about bin Laden’s burial at sea is that it will have little impact on the global war on terrorism. Al Qaeda and its associated movements have never been dependent on an iconic Osama bin Laden. They operate in the new world of the Internet and the wider jihadist movement in a global electronic caliphate.
Texting and tweets is their new language. How to make a bomb in ma’s kitchen makes for more exciting reading in their online magazine Inspire than having to learn the Koran by heart in Arabic over 10 years, as young boys do in Pakistan’s 12,500 single-discipline madrassas.
Osama bin Laden’s demise is a great victory for the skill and courage of the intelligence community and the U.S. Navy SEALs. It is also a global wake-up call for reassessing the global balance of forces, drawing the proper lesson from China’s 5.8 million civilian workers on building projects abroad (including 1 million in Africa) versus America’s priorities that keep 350,000 soldiers overseas in some 700 bases and facilities.
While the United States spent blood and treasure to the tune of $1 trillion in Iraq and $500 billion in Afghanistan over the past 10 years, a budding superpower in the Far East is taking a leaf out of the Marshall Plan.
Did Pakistan know bin Laden was ‘hiding in plain sight’?
By David Ignatius, Published: May 10
The Pakistani town of Abbottabad seems to have been the perfect place to “hide in plain sight.” Not only did officers at the Pakistani military academy there apparently miss spotting Osama bin Laden so did a team of U.S. Special Forces trainers that, according to Pakistani officials, was based there from September to December 2008.
The “Where’s Waldo?” aspect of the hunt for bin Laden — who turns out to have been living since 2005 just a few hours’ drive north of Islamabad — has worsened the mistrust between America and Pakistan. Pakistani anger over the unilateral U.S. attack is indicated by the fact that someone just “outed” the CIA station chief in Islamabad for the second time in a year.
More than a week after the Abbottabad raid, the nagging question remains: How could the Pakistanis not have known that the world’s leading terrorist was hiding in what some analysts have argued was practically a gated community for their military?
It’s a puzzle that embarrasses Pakistani officials just as much as it angers Americans. Surely someone must have known, and in Pakistan, that someone would likely have had connections to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. But that doesn’t necessarily mean ISI’s titular leaders knew about the support network, and therein lies part of the problem.
The ISI is, in the biblical phrase, a house with many mansions. What was known in one wing was not always shared with others. Indeed, if the ISI had transmitted information about sheltering bin Laden, U.S. intelligence almost certainly would have picked it up through surveillance.
Pakistani officials reject the allegation — rapidly becoming conventional wisdom in Washington — that they didn’t adequately pursue al-Qaeda. In interviews, they disclosed some new details that support their account. A U.S. official responded: “The Pakistanis indeed provided information that was useful to the U.S. government as it collected intelligence on the bin Laden compound. That information helped fill in some gaps.”
The Pakistani dossier starts with a joint CIA-ISI raid in the Abbottabad area in 2004, pursuing Abu Faraj al-Libi, often described as al-Qaeda’s No. 3 official. He was captured the next year in another joint operation in Mardan, west of Abbottabad.
The Pakistanis argue their telephone intercepts may have helped CIA analysts identify the courier who was sheltering bin Laden and trace him to the compound in Abbottabad. ISI officials, in particular, cite several calls in Arabic in 2009 that may have been crucial, including at least one from the general vicinity of Abbottabad.
Communications intercepts have always been crucial to U.S. operations against al-Qaeda. In some instances, such as wireless calls, the United States can collect signals unilaterally. But in intercepting some landline and Internet communications, the United States had secret official cooperation, according to a Pakistani source. The source says this led to the sharing of many hundreds of useful calls and numbers.
As another sign of anti-terrorist operations in the region, a Pakistani official cites the Jan. 25 capture in Abbottabad of Umar Patek, a leader of the Indonesian affiliate of al-Qaeda that planned the 2002 Bali bombing.
The final irony was the presence in Abbottabad of Special Forces in late 2008. They were part of a clandestine mission to train members of the Pakistani Frontier Corps. The training camp was later moved to Warsak, northwest of Peshawar, but for a few months American warriors apparently were living and working less than two miles from bin Laden.
What angers U.S. officials is that the ISI may be helpful with one hand, but with the other assists groups that threaten Americans. One example is the Haqqani network, the deadliest Taliban faction in eastern Afghanistan; another is Lashkar-i-Taiba, a Kashmiri group whose alleged links with the ISI will be explored in a trial scheduled to open next week in Chicago.
The fact that bin Laden lived for so long under the military’s nose, as it were, has prompted some stinging commentary in Pakistan, such as this riposte in the newspaper Dawn last week from columnist Cyril Almeida: “If we didn’t know, we are a failed state; if we did know, we are a rogue state. But does anybody really believe they didn’t know?”
And what happens next, as the United States begins to exploit the “treasure trove” of information found in bin Laden’s compound? Among other things, that cache may reveal what, if anything, Pakistani officials knew, and when they knew it.
Revealed: How Obama was playing golf until 20 minutes before Navy SEALs began mission to take out Bin Laden
Stayed out on golf course to distance himself if it went wrong, book claims
We would have taken him alive if he surrendered, says commander
Al-Qaeda leader’s wife screamed: ’No, no, don’t do this… it’s not him!’
SEALs nicknamed Bin Laden ‘Bert’ in reference to Sesame Street muppet
By DANIEL BATES
Last updated at 7:41 AM on 7th November 2011
In the official photograph, he looked every inch the commander in chief.
Strain etched on his face, Barack Obama watched as the raid to kill Osama bin Laden played out on a television in front of him.
According to a new book, however, the President was not nearly that engaged – and was actually playing golf until 20 minutes before the operation began in earnest.
Only then did he down his clubs and return to the White House to watch what he later trumpeted as a great success of his presidency.
A new book claims the official account was riddled with errors and that Bin Laden was referred to as ‘Bert’ and not just ‘Geronimo’.
Also, none of the Navy SEALs said the now famous words: ‘For God and country’, and when they burst into Bin Laden’s room, his wife screamed: ‘No, no, don’t do this… it’s not him!’
The claims are from Chuck Pfarrer, a former SEAL team commander, in a book called SEAL Target Geronimo.
He has spoken to several of the men who carried out the operation at Bin Laden’s mansion hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2.
Mr Pfarrer paints a very different picture to the official photo released at the time which shows Mr Obama and advisers huddled round a table in the White House situation room as footage was beamed from a drone 15,000ft above the al-Qaeda leader’s mansion.
Mr Pfarrer says the President’s role was largely inflated and suggests he stayed out on the golf course for so long so he could distance himself in case it went wrong. Mr Pfarrer writes: ‘If this had completely gone south, he was in a position to disavow.’
He says the White House photographs did not show the moment that Bin Laden was killed, but the moment a helicopter went down, which happened after the shooting.
Mr Obama is known to be a keen golfer. Just today, as the White House was being encircled by 8,000 environmental protesters, he was on a course in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The President also played golf four times during his week-long family holiday on Martha’s Vineyard.
The book also claims that bin Laden would have been captured if he gave himself up. Mr Pfarrer said a SEAL team would not have been sent in for a kill mission, adding: ‘If it was a kill mission you don’t need SEAL Team 6; you need a box of hand grenades.’
The book also gives a dramatic new insight into what happened during the 1am raid, during which only 12 bullets were fired.
Within 90 seconds of their helicopter landing, the SEALs saw Bin Laden slam his bedroom door shut. Two SEALs burst in and saw Bin Laden and one of his four wives, Amal, who shouted: ‘It’s not him!’
Contrary to White House statements that he was unarmed, Bin Laden had a gun next to him. As he shoved his wife at the SEALs, four shots were fired.
The first round whistled past Bin Laden’s face. The second grazed his wife’s calf. Mr Pfarrer claims: ‘Two 5.56mm Predator bullets slammed into him.
One struck him next to his breastbone, blowing apart his aorta. The last went through his skull.’
He also reveals that Bin Laden was known as Bert to the Seals, and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri was Ernie – a reference to the Sesame Street puppets.
The SEALS have decided to speak out after being enraged by the image that was being painted of them as cold-blooded murderers on a ‘kill mission’.
Pfarrer said: ‘I’ve been a SEAL for 30 years and I never heard the words ”kill mission”.
The soldiers were also said to be disappointed that Obama announced Bin Laden’s death on TV a few hours later, making their intelligence-gathering futile.
Mr Pfarrer also said the President’s announcement of the ‘intentional’ killing was understandable but nonetheless disappointing.
Mr Pfarrer told the Sunday Times: ‘There isn’t a politician in the world who could resist trying to take credit for getting Bin Laden but it devalued the ”intel” and gave time for every other Al-Qaeda leader to scurry to another bolthole.
‘The men who did this and their valorous act deserve better. It’s a pretty shabby way to treat these guys.’
The operation began to come together in January 2010 after it was discovered that a ‘high-value individual’ was hiding out at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The commanding officer of the SEALS was brought to a top secret meeting with the CIA and his boss Admiral William McRaven to prepare a plan to present to the President.
Pfarrer asked: ‘So is this Bert or Ernie?’, according to the SEALs’ Sesame Street nicknames for Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri.
CIA intelligence confirmed they were ’60 per cent or 70 per cent certain it’s our guy’.
Satellite images had measured the target’s shadow, making him ‘over 6ft tall’. He was dubbed ‘the pacer’ as he was constantly seen walking back and forth.
In the following months, the team of SEALS began to make detailed preparations including practising manoeuvres at a mock-up of the compound at a remote army camp.
It was planned that the team would use Ghost Hawk helicopters because they were so quiet on approach, the Seals described them as flying in ‘whisper mode’, according to Mr Pfarrer.
Mr Obama gave the mission the green light and SEAL Team 6, known as the Jedi, kicked into action.
After being deployed to Afghanistan, the team were told to use older helicopters, Stealth Hawks, as sending in Ghost Hawks without the back up of jet fighters was considered too risky. Decoy targets were set up and the U.S. Navy scrambled Pakistan’s radar to protect the mission.
The operation, called Neptune’s Spear, was meant to take place on April 30 but was rescheduled for May 1 because of bad weather. In the dead of night, the SEALS flew on two Stealth Hawks, codenamed Razor 1 and 2, followed by two Chinooks five minutes behind.
Each SEAL was wearing body armour and night-vision goggles and equipped with laser targets, radios and sawn-off M4 rifles.
Also on board were a CIA agent, a Pakistani- American interpreter and a sniffer dog called Karo, wearing dog body armour and goggles.
It was estimated that around 30 people were in the high-walled compound in Abbottabad – Bin Laden and three of his wives, two sons, Khalid and Hamza, his courier, Abu Ahmed al- Kuwaiti, four bodyguards and a number of children.
At 56 minutes past midnight the compound came into sight and the code ‘Palm Beach’ gave the signal they were three minutes to landing.
The first helicopter hovered over the main house, where Bin Laden was known to live on the top floor. A team of 12 SEALS abseiled the 5ft-6ft down onto the roof, leapt onto a terrace and kicked in the windows.
The first person they saw was Bin Laden’s third wife Khaira. She fell after being blinded by a strobe light and was caught by a SEAL who pinned her to the floor.
Bin Laden suddenly appeared in the doorway of a bedroom along the hall and then slammed the door.
One SEAL radioed: ‘Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo’ signalling that they had spotted the target.
As people started moving in other parts of the house and lights were thrown on, Bin Laden’s son Khalid came running up the stairs towards the SEALS and was shot dead.
Two commandos kicked in Bin Laden’s door to find the al-Qaeda leader cowering behind his youngest wife Amal.
As Bin Laden tried to reach for his AK-47 rifle, the SEALS opened fire.
One round hit the mattress, another grazed Amal in the calf.
They each fired again: one shot hit Bin Laden’s breastbone, the other his skull, blowing out the back of his head. His dead body slumped to the floor and he lay face up – just 90 seconds after the mission began.
Earlier reports had suggested that Bin Laden was not killed until after a protracted gun fight.
The second helicopter had headed to a smaller guesthouse in the compound where Bin Laden’s courier, Kuwaiti, and his brother lived.
As the helicopter closed in, a man appeared in the door with an assault rife and began to fire. Someone on board shouted ‘Bust him!’ A sniper on board the chopper fired two shots and Kuwaiti was killed along with his wife standing behind him.
Within two minutes the SEALS had cleared the guesthouse and removed the women and children. They then ran to meet their colleagues at the main building, firing two bullets into one of Bin Laden’s bodyguards who was brandishing a gun.
Five minutes later, a Chinook landed by the compound and more commandos flooded into the compound.
The commanding officer went to view Bin Laden’s corpse before confirming via satellite phone to the White House ‘Geronimo Echo KIA’ – that their number one enemy was dead.
Pfarrer added: ‘This was the first time the White House knew he was dead and it was probably 20 minutes into the raid.’
A sample of Bin Laden’s DNA was taken, the body was bagged and put on the helicopter. His rifle is now mounted on the wall of their team room at their headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
On leaving the compound the first helicopter had an electrical failre and crashed tail-first into the compound.
SEALS initially thought it had been shot down as they rushed to help the crew who escaped unharmed.
Fighting force: SEAL Team 6 were the elite soldiers who killed Bin Laden after a stealth mission
Osama bin Laden was ‘weepy and delicate’ man says his successor as Al Qaeda chief
Last updated at 3:26 PM on 16th November 2011
Osama Bin Laden’s substitute in command of al Qaeda has released a video describing the late leader as ‘delicate’.
Ayman al-Zawahiri who took over the terror organisation after bin Laden was killed by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs in May, also talked about the mass murderer’s ‘noble, refined side’.
Speaking of the mass murderer, al-Zawahiri said: ’People probably don’t know, they remember the lion of Islam threatening America and Bush, but people don’t know that he was a very delicate, nice, shy man.
Rambling: Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri appeared in a new video released on jihadist forums today where he described late chief bin Laden as ‘delicate’
‘No one has ever met him with him, friend or foe, and not spoken of his nobility and his modesty.’
The video, which rambles on for half an hour, also featured an over the top soundtrack and montage of the dead extremist.
Al Zawahiri, who usually launches into violent diatribes against the West on camera, also said: ’He was known for crying and tearing up very easily.
‘He would tell me that certain brothers would tell him to try and hold them back a bit and I told him that it was a blessing he had.’
Bin Laden was responsible for the death of nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.
He was America’s public enemy number one for more than a decade and wanted for a long list of atrocious attacks.
He was believed to have masterminded the bombing of nightclubs on the Indonesian island of Bali which killed 202 people, bombs on commuter trains in Madrid in 2004 and the 7/7 attacks in London.
After bin Laden’s death, al-Zawahiri has become the number one enemy of the U.S. Government with a $25million reward on his head.
Acts of evil: Osama bin Laden was the number one enemy of the United States after the terrorist attacks on 9/11