WASHINGTON -- Osama bin Laden’s personal notes and letters, which were seized a year ago in the U.S. raid on his compound in Pakistan, show a leader removed from day-to-day operations of the terrorist organization he founded and increasingly frustrated with the new generation of managers who were rising in the ranks.
A declassified selection of the vast trove of material -- large enough, officials say, to fill a college library -- will be published online Thursday by the Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
In correspondence with his senior leaders, Bin Laden lamented the inexperience and poor judgment shown by the rising crop of Al Qaeda leaders. He urged his followers to move out of the tribal areas of Pakistan and to areas that were far from the cameras and missiles of the CIA’s fleet of armed Predator drones, and he said Muslims around the world have “lost their trust” in Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials who have read the documents.
Bin Laden evaded capture after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by avoiding cellphones and email and relying on a single courier to pass messages between him and the senior leaders of his organization.