JUBAIL, SAUDI ARABIA: Most of the Osama bin Laden’s letters, which were released on May 3 by the West Point Combating Terrorism Centre in the US, give quite a different perspective about the man. After reading them it appears as if Osama bin Laden was frustrated, disillusioned and disheartened with the blows al Qaeda was receiving in the battlefield.
He appeared to be frustrated with the activities of jihadi outfits and was quite critical of their tactics of attacking civilians, mosques, marketplaces, schools, etc. where ordinary people lost their lives. He also spoke of rules, which he said the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan needed to adhere to in the case of kidnappings for ransom.
The selected 17 letters released by the US government, out of hundreds of documents recovered from his house, show Bin Laden as an old man living a life in isolation and cut off from the rest of the world. Another impression that one gets is that jihadi outfits were not ready to listen to him because they carried on with their attacks on civilians, mosques, shrines, marketplaces, schools and hospitals all over Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Kidnappings for ransom in Karachi and other cities also continue unabated.
The Americans might have killed Osama but even they will realise that the threat from terrorism is far from over.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.