A US-led task force has found that terror kingpin Osama bin Laden was in direct contact with his followers and did not rely solely on messengers, British newspaper The Telegraph reports.
The revelation came after the force went through documents and computer files that were captured from Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound.
Western intelligence chiefs had initially believed that his contact with the outside world was limited and conducted via messages on computer thumb drives.
Last week, British intelligence agents joined their US counterparts to sift through the material found from the Abbottabad compound. The documents reportedly contain repeated references to Britain.
An Afghan Taliban commander, who has previously provided reliable information to foreign media, disclosed that he had visited Bin Laden at the compound. He said that the Saudi terror chief also received sporadic visits from al Qaeda leaders, Taliban allies and fellow Arab fundraisers.
When the commander, who asked not to be named, last saw Bin Laden in Abbottabad two years ago, he seemed healthy and well briefed on recent developments, but concerned about his safety and money.
Bin Laden confided that he had to continue to meet top aides because so many senior lieutenants had been captured or killed. “He said he had no choice but to be active and meet people, despite security risks,” the Taliban leader said. “He was meeting other top al Qaeda leaders who could get access to Abbottabad without endangering their safety.”
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that Britain was one of six countries – along with the US, Canada, Israel, Germany and Spain – identified as a target for terror strikes in the intelligence haul. However, officials have not disclosed specific plots or threats.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ