ABBOTTABAD, PAKISTAN - MAY 3: People gather outside Osama Bin Laden's compound, where he was killed during a raid by U.S. special forces, May 3, 2011 in Abottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was killed during a U.S. military mission May 2, at the compound. According to reports May 4, 2011, the Obama administration has decided not to release photographs of Bin Laden's body. (Photo by Getty Images)
Hide Caption
Hide Caption
BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 11: A Crew member stands on the flight deck of Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson whilst at anchor in Busan port on January 11, 2011 in Busan. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Hide Caption
A mural honoring firefighters killed on 9/11 is seen outside the World Trade Center. Getty Images
Hide Caption
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: FDNY firefighters look on from atop their truck as people celebrate in Times Square after the death of accused 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was announced by U.S. President Barack Obama May 2, 2011 in New York City. A special force led operation has killed Osama Bin Laden in a house outside Islamabad in Pakistan and his body is in U.S. custody. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Hide Caption
AMMAN, JORDAN - SEPTEMBER 10: This is a still image taken from a video tape aired on Al-Jazeerah station September 10, 2003 that shows Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in an unspecified location. Getty Images
Hide Caption
DEATH OF BIN LADEN: President Barack Obama announced May 1 that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Getty Images
Hide Caption

Bin Laden documents to go online Thursday

6,000+ documents seized in raid

a a a a
Share this story

For the first time, the general public will be able to see a number of the 6,000-plus documents seized in last year's raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point said it will release the material online Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.

John Brennan, President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, announced the release in remarks Monday to the Woodrow Wilson Center on Counterterrorism.

The center, an academic institution at the U.S. Military Academy in New York, said it plans to release original versions in Arabic and translations in English.

"The CTC will issue a short report contextualizing the documents and providing an overview of their most salient themes," the center said.

U.S. Navy SEALs killed the al-Qaida leader in the raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and seized reams of material described by scholars and officials as a "treasure trove."

The dramatic and historic assault took place in the early morning hours of May 2, Pakistan-time; while it was late May 1 in Washington. It ended a nearly 10-year hunt for the elusive militant, who headed the terror network that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

The CTC didn't say which and how many documents will be released.

Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst and author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad," said he reviewed some of the documents for his research. They are declassified memos written by bin Laden and his subordinates.

"The only documents that will be released are the ones that I was able to review," he said Tuesday. "Bottom line is, this will be several hundred pages only."

In a CNN column Tuesday adapted from the book, Bergen called bin Laden "an inveterate micromanage." He said bin Laden was under the "delusion" that his group "could still force a change" in U.S. foreign policy if it was able to pull off another major strike.

"The memos paint a picture of an organization that understood it was in deep danger from the American drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions that had been decimating its leadership since summer 2008," Bergen said.

Brennan said one conclusion that can be reached from the documents is that al-Qaida "has had trouble replacing" field commanders "being lost so quickly." He's referring to the killing and capturing of those fighters.

"For example, bin Laden worried about -- and I quote -- "the rise of lower leaders who are not as experienced,' and this would lead to the repeat of mistakes," Brennan said.

Print this article


Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More bin Laden Coverage

Osama bin Laden Osama bin Laden's son-in-law Sulaiman Abu Ghaith pleads not guilty in heavily-guarded NY courtroom

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law pleaded not guilty Friday in a heavily secured New York courtroom to plotting against Americans in his role as al-Qaida's top spokesman.

US official: Al-Qaida No. 2 killed by US drone US official: Al-Qaida No. 2 killed by US drone

A U.S. drone strike has killed al-Qaida's second-in-command, an American official said Tuesday, a significant blow to the terror network that has lost a string of top leaders since the death of Osama bin Laden last year.

Rep. King: CIA, Pentagon, too close to filmmakers Rep. King: CIA, Pentagon, too close to filmmakers

A House committee chairman charged Wednesday that the CIA and Defense Department jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden Bin Laden's last words describe terrorist network concerns, plans to kill US leaders

In letters from his last hideout, Osama bin Laden fretted about dysfunction in his terrorist network and the loss of trust from Muslims he wished to incite against their government and the West.

Bin Laden documents at a glance Bin Laden documents at a glance

U.S. officials Thursday released a small sampling of the documents captured when U.S. special operations forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden last year in Pakistan.

Bin Laden documents to go online Thursday Bin Laden documents to go online Thursday

For the first time, the general public will be able to see a number of the 6,000-plus documents seized in last year's raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.