Osama bin Laden raid documents available online today
Documents recovered from Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound will show bin Laden's strategy for overthrowing Afghanistan.
Osama bin Laden was devising a strategy for overthrowing Afghan President Hamid Karzai and controlling Afghanistan once the US left the country, said a former U.S. official familiar with the cache of notes and letters that were seized last year in the raid on the terrorist leader's compound.Skip to next paragraph
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Bin Laden had discussed his plans with the Taliban leadership council, known as the Quetta Shura, and the Haqqani network, which controls the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan, said the former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity while discussing the intelligence.
The haul of documents, hard drives and flash drives show bin Laden seeking to shape the future of Afghanistan but also struggling to manage an organization fractured by CIA drone assassinations and hampered by inexperienced leaders, officials say.
The Taliban and Al Qaeda don't agree on everything but still have a "relatively strong" relationship, said Seth Jones, an expert on al-Qaida at the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Rand Corp. think tank and author of "Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida Since 9/11."
"They are attempting to overthrow the Karzai regime, and they are both willing to work with each other to do that," he said.
The release of the declassified material follows President Barack Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday that administration officials acknowledged was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the death of bin Laden.
Republicans have criticized the Obama campaign for using the killing of bin Laden by U.S. forces in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, as a political talking point.
The documents captured at that time also show that a key go-between for U.S. negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan had also been in touch with bin Laden.
Mohammed Tayeb Agha, an aide to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, met with U.S. officials at least three times in spring 2011. He was also in communication with bin Laden, who was looking for assurances about what kind of haven Al Qaeda's senior leaders would have in Afghanistan after a U.S. military withdrawal.