Bin Laden Letters: Al Qaeda told Mehsud to stop attacking Pakistan mosques, markets

Published: May 3, 2012

WASHINGTON: Documents seized from Osama Bin Laden’s compound reveal that the former al Qaeda leader planned to kill US President Barack Obama and now CIA director David Petraeus. Bin Laden also urged supporters to leave Waziristan to escape drone attacks. The terror group also issued directives to stop attacks on Pakistani mosques, markets.

The US on Thursday began publishing selected letters and documents through the West Point Combating Terrorism Center. The 17 letters, numbering 175 pages,  comprise of part of the correspondence Bin Laden received, and sent to al Qaeda (AQ) commanders.

In a letter dated May 2010 sent to AQ leader Attiyah Abd-al-Rahman, who was killed in 2011 in a drone strike, Osama Bin Laden asked “Shaykh Said” to ask “brother Ilyas” to prepare two groups in Pakistan and Bagram, Afghanistan to anticipate and spot trips by US President Barack Obama and General David Petraeus. The letter says that the groups are to target their aircrafts, however, they should not target visits by US Vice President Joe Biden, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, then Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen or the now late US Special Representative for Af-Pak Richard Holbrooke. “The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency for the remainder of the term, as it is the norm over there. Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour in this last year of the war, and killing him would alter the war’s path,” wrote Bin Laden.

Another letter by Osama Bin Laden, also to Attiyah in October 2010, is directed to the brothers in Waziristan, and said that they should keep a low profile and take necessary precautions. “(They) should stay in the area and those who cannot do so, their first option is to go to Nuristan in Kunar, Ghazni or Zabil. I am leaning toward getting most of the brothers out of the area. We could leave the cars because they are targeting cars now, but if we leave them, they will start focusing on houses and that would increase casualties among women and children. It is possible that they have photographed targeted homes. The brothers who can keep a low profile and take the necessary precautions should stay, but move to new houses on a cloudy day.”

Bin Laden also expressed reservations about the would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad telling a US court during his trial that Shahzad lied when he took his US citizenship oath. “You should know that it is not permissible in Islam to betray trust and break a covenant. Perhaps the brother was not aware of this. Please ask the brothers in Taliban Pakistan to explain this point to their members. In one of the pictures, brother Faysal Shahzad was with commander (Hakimullah) Mahsud; please find out if Mahsud knows that getting the American citizenship requires taking an oath to not harm America. This is a very important matter because we do not want al-Mujahidn to be accused of breaking a covenant.”

Critique of Hakimullah Mehsud

A letter written by AQ leaders Attiyah and Abu Yahya al Libi in December 2010 to Tehreek-e-Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud is critical of his operations. “(Of the passive behavior is) killing more people, taking them as shields without basing their action on the Sharia killing the normal Muslims as a result of martyrdom operations that takes place in the marketplaces, mosques, roads, assembly places, and calling the Muslims apostates.”

The al Qaeda leaders also mention that they are sending guidelines on kidnapping and ransom money. “We are sending the attached short list on what is acceptable and unacceptable on the subject of kidnapping and receiving money, and we hope that you and the Mujahidin in Pakistan will approve it.”

In late January 2011, American AQ spokesman Adam Gadahn wrote a letter to an unknown recipient, critical of attacks on mosques. “And among the repulsive issues -and certainly forbidden- the targeting of mosques with explosives and others- as what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan and sometimes in Iraq.”

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Reader Comments (52)

  • bangash
    May 3, 2012 - 7:38PM

    typical mullah….sends others to death while sending his own kids to safety.


  • Bhindian
    May 3, 2012 - 8:04PM

    “Bin Laden had taken a different stance when it came to his family, as compared to his followers.” Actually no, he simply told some of his children to seek further religious education, besides one of his son was killed with him in the raid. ET fails again


  • Atheist, India
    May 3, 2012 - 8:07PM

    “We’re sending the attached short list on what is acceptable and unacceptable on the subject of kidnapping and receiving money.”
    The “pure” way of fighting a war.


  • Nasir
    May 3, 2012 - 8:15PM

    I am sick of mullahs that preach hate


  • zahid
    May 3, 2012 - 8:33PM

    There are many intelligence agencies working inside Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Thats why Journalist Saleem Shehzad and Murtaza Razvi were murdered to suppress the voice of truth.


  • syed baqar ahsan
    May 3, 2012 - 8:35PM

    This is all tactics to keep the kettle boiling,all are aware who is behind this so it will not work any more.


  • Adnan
    May 3, 2012 - 8:42PM


    Typical Liberal, criticizing others while sending their own kids in Western countries.


  • Babloo
    May 3, 2012 - 8:48PM

    “We’re sending the attached short list on what is acceptable and unacceptable on the subject of kidnapping and receiving money.”

    Oh, so there is a religiously sanctioned method of kidnapping and extortion !


  • May 3, 2012 - 8:51PM

    Bin Laden was a good man.Recommend

  • May 3, 2012 - 9:13PM


    So what? What’s wrong with parents sending their kids to “western” countries for education?


  • Lone Star
    May 3, 2012 - 9:25PM

    TTP and other gangsters never gave any heec to Islamic laws and believing that they would listen to Al Qaida would be like living in fools paradise.


  • Lone Star
    May 3, 2012 - 9:27PM

    Of course I meant gave any “heed”.


  • Afridi
    May 3, 2012 - 9:28PM

    all these mullah shud be disarmed and that can done by reforming their madrassas where they start brain washing and get used by others


  • Hit-Man
    May 3, 2012 - 9:53PM

    Al Qaida is a much more principled organisation than TTP who inspite of receiving good sermons from its chief organisation continues to kill innocent civilians and still have many sympathisers in Pakistan.


  • Lawangin
    May 3, 2012 - 10:17PM

    Al qaida is not a threat. the mentor and supporter the real threat. Go after them.


  • Cautious
    May 3, 2012 - 10:37PM

    Fascinating – OBL is concerned that Muslim terrorist who gain USA citizenship are breaking their oath which would be a violation of the teachings of Muhammad — but somehow has no problem with slaughtering 3,000 civilians on 911 – go figure.


  • Babloo
    May 3, 2012 - 10:43PM

    So Al-Qaida is the mentor and guide of Tehrik a Taliban Pakistan ( TTP ) ? And some readers consider that good ?


  • indi2
    May 3, 2012 - 10:59PM

    Well, at least we can agree with him on one point: His judgment on Joe Biden.


  • politicaly incorrect
    May 3, 2012 - 11:07PM


    Agree 100%.


  • Jen
    May 3, 2012 - 11:33PM

    Osama Obama Biden (Bi)n La(den)
    Think this is just some amazing set of coincidences? Think again

    We have no president, no democracy, no freedom of press after unelected officials staged a coup and took over the media. The truth is being buried in Psy-ops comments and disinformation.

    Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the BIGGEST cover up in history.


  • Sultan Mehmood
    May 3, 2012 - 11:36PM

    Boy O Boy, bin Laden is a better analyst than most of the journalist I read.


  • Shuaib
    May 3, 2012 - 11:41PM

    I would like to say that I don’t quite understand his ideology, he’s fine with murdering 3000 people, but breaking a covenent is somehow unacceptable?! XD


  • Jamset Ram Sing
    May 3, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Dear Cautious,
    Up to now Presidents Bush and Obama have been responsible for ensuring that several million people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are dead. So far Washington have not yet produced any credible evidence that Osama Bin Laden killed three thousand people at 9/11, but if we presume that he did, he has a lot of catching up to do hasn’t he? Incidentally, if you have any evidence that the current Washington version of 9/11 is correct I would be grateful if you would make it available.


  • G. Din
    May 3, 2012 - 11:54PM

    @politicaly incorrect:
    “Well, at least we can agree with him on one point: His judgment on Joe Biden.”
    How so? Was Harry Truman more prepared than Joe Biden? Yet he (Harry) made the most momentous decisions any man has ever made that turned the tides of a world war. You and the Sheikh betray utter ignorance about how democracies work. Chief Executive of a Democracy is not a king or a caliph and has no absolute powers He is only the first among equals. That is why democracies can and have never be subverted!


  • Mirza
    May 4, 2012 - 12:01AM

    These terrorists are a bad excuse for humans. What a shame that they are exploiting the name of religion and fooling the naïve people. No condemnation of these terrorists can be too harsh. Thanks Uncle Sam for cleansing Pakistani soil of these brutal terrorists.


  • biryani
    May 4, 2012 - 12:50AM

    OBL tried to save pakistan army from onslaught of TTP so Pakistan Army helped U.S kill OBL.
    Does that mean pakistan army wants TTP to continue onslaught upon her ?? interesting loop


  • AM
    May 4, 2012 - 12:55AM

    iam of opinion that whole 9/11 drama was staged by CIA itself to get license from americans to invade afghanistan and pakistan.OBL had nothing to do with 9/11 incident.his name was used as an excuse for invasion of afpak.he wasn’t a terrorist.may God rest his soul in peace!


  • jawad
    May 4, 2012 - 1:00AM

    this could be new drama by american CIA to gain sympathies for their once beloved osama , just to start some think new.


  • Naseer
    May 4, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Not sure how Joe Biden is feeling after reading Bin Laden’s comments about him (lol)


  • Ashar
    May 4, 2012 - 1:25AM

    Bin Laden is the hero of tomorrow. No matter what nonsense is said about him. He has not been a terrorist. neither he planned 9-11 nor others.
    Pakistani Taliban are backed by India and Afghanistan.
    The propaganda made by the US is about to end soon. Insha Allah and we will see a true Islamic Government in Afghanistan again under Mulla Mohammad Umar. under which peace and tranquality will prevail, poppy will be abolished once again, and borders will be safe from warlords and miscreants.


  • MyHeartSpeaks
    May 4, 2012 - 1:26AM

    I’m pretty sure that these letters are forged ones. Infact, everything that came from US since 9/11 created doubts in everyone’s mind. Bin Ladin was part of US fabricated story. Just wondering, when 9/11 suffering will end..


  • DB
    May 4, 2012 - 1:40AM

    This is even more clear evidence of foriegn agencies involvement and directing of TTP when they do not even listen to their main Sheikh OBL.


  • kaalchakra
    May 4, 2012 - 1:40AM

    So now we know what a great human being he was! Islam is very clear – Muslims must not be killed. Al Qaeda would never commit unIslamic acts.


  • A2Z
    May 4, 2012 - 1:54AM

    Today is Eid of Liberal Extremists…Eid Mubarak


  • Baba Ji
    May 4, 2012 - 3:02AM
  • kenny
    May 4, 2012 - 3:42AM

    The Murdoch media empire is a far greater threat to democracy in Australia than al Qaeda or any other terrorist organisation. Australia needs a Guardian Co UK…


  • Khurram
    May 4, 2012 - 4:04AM

    Surprised to see how easily these so called educated sensible people believe in whatever US and media tells them, commenting on these letters as whatever US govt is a hadith and they can never lie :)


  • Spud
    May 4, 2012 - 4:54AM

    @Jamset Ram Sing: A quick perusal of news items over the past year or so will reveal most Muslims are killed by Muslims many times more than tose killed by Americans. Read news from Syria and recently from Susdan-South Sudan. It is a lie perpetrated by Mullahs and other miscreants to suggest that western nations have killed millions of Muslims. Muslims should open their eyes and see what they are doing to themselves. Stop Sunni-Shia-Ahamadiyyas etc. Then you will have peace and propserity.


  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    May 4, 2012 - 5:20AM

    Gee I thought it was all along CIA, RAW, Mossad conspiracy. So truth finally came out. Does it mean I will have to eat my words and appologize to those countries? Did OBL said anything about BB too?


  • Moise
    May 4, 2012 - 5:33AM

    Now he can say whatever CIA wants to say, there is no way to double check it.


  • Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli
    May 4, 2012 - 6:26AM

    @Jamset Ram Sing:
    When people like you talk I actually start to feel bad for Pakistan. They’re never going to be respected thanks to people like you.


  • Ashraf P
    May 4, 2012 - 7:21AM

    Even in kidnapping and murder there is a “halal” and “haraam” way?? The things we learn from these mullahs. They kidnapped a peaceful religion and converted it into one that the entire world despises. Good job O Bearded Ones !!


  • NaK
    May 4, 2012 - 8:59AM

    I think these documents has been cash in US election compaign,other wise wast of paper and nothing NOW.


  • Asad
    May 4, 2012 - 9:09AM

    100% agreed. How can we believe US who itself involved in 911 attack so it can get a license so attack Iraq and Afghanistan. This letter might be their new tactics.Recommend

  • abc
    May 4, 2012 - 9:22AM

    For all those passing comments on religion and the “holy war” that Bin Laden was fighting, I was never in favor of him or Al-Qaeda and Taliban, but neither do I believe these statements released by the US government. For all I know, all this could be further propaganda.


  • Shafiq
    May 4, 2012 - 3:48PM

    Production of a small video and a letter took Pentagon one year???


  • j. von hettlingen
    May 4, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Bin Laden didn’t approve of what what Hakimullah Mehsud of the Tehreek-e-Taliban did, as he deemed Mehsud’s operations illegal, not in accordance with the Sharia. The latter killed normal Muslims in marketplaces and mosques etc. instead of Indians in temples or in cities like Mumbai etc.


  • Jamset Ram Sing
    May 5, 2012 - 12:45AM

    Dear Spud,
    I do not know where you are getting your Information from, but it is obviously a different source to mine, and perhaps we should leave it at that. However, you did mention Syria, which, like Libya, has been subject to a dreadful, I might even say barbaric, intervention by some Western countries; namely the U.S./Britain/France. The aforementioned countries have supplied militants, and or mercenaries, armed them and shipped them into those unfortunate countries, and then Western media refer to them as freedom fighters. A dreadful situation has been created, but apparently some people have been taken in by Western propaganda and consider they are the good guys. You apparently do not believe that the Western powers have killed millions of people in the Middle East and Asia. I suggest that you read up U.N. statistics. They are there for anybody to read. If you can prove to me that the statistics are incorrect I will withdraw my assertions.


  • Sexton Blake
    May 5, 2012 - 2:14AM

    I do not know exactly how slack the Pakistan military is, but the incident at Abbottabad has an Alice in Wonderland dream quality about it, and I do not think even a third word country, which Pakistan is not, would let it happen. A flotilla of U.S. helicopters flew all the way across Pakistan on May 2nd, 2011, found a targeted house in the middle of the night, just next door to a Pakistan military camp, fought a forty minute battle, supposedly murdered Osama Bin Laden, stole thousands of documents, peacefully flew all the way back across Pakistan, dumped Osama Bin laden’s body in the sea, the navy seals who carried out the operation are all dead, and now nobody can prove one way or the other whether Osama was killed at Abbottabad. It is interesting that the Americans could accurately navigate their way all across Pakistan in the middle of the night. I say this because a few months later on 26th November, 2011 NATO/U.S. forces attacked a Pakistan military outpost in broad daylight, well inside the Pakistan Afghan border, killing and wounding 37 Pakistan military personnel. From memory they used 2 Apache Helicopters, one AC-130 Gunship, and 2 F-15E Eagle Jets to do the damage so it was not just one pilot who did not know what he was doing navigation wise. A little later General Mathis from U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND stated that the borders were not clear and navigation was difficult. All this after navigating all the way across Pakistan in the middle of the night to Abbottabad. I am not exactly sure about the saying, but I think it says you can fool me once and it is your fault. Fool me twice and it is my fault. I do not intend to be fooled again.


  • May 5, 2012 - 4:26AM

    As fairy tales go this fairy tale will never make the New York best sellers list even in the fiction category!
    I wonder who wrote the letters we have many organizations to chose from!
    The CIA, FBI, NSA, MI6, Mossad, Shin Bet? I will of course be running a book on the eventual outcome. 2001 to one against Osama Bin Laden.


  • May 5, 2012 - 8:23PM

    Another one of Americas own gone wild children …


  • Abid P Khan
    May 7, 2012 - 2:45AM

    With so many possibilities of what really happened and discrepancy between that and the versions presented, can one really rule out that OBL is very much alive.
    He is being kept in a cellar in the White House and regularly participates in top secret meetings.


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