Al-Qaeda

Amazing David Ignatius Story--and ConText Follow Up

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, March 17, 2012, 8:37 AM

I had no idea when I wrote this post last night about ConText that I would awaken this morning to this incredible story by my former colleague David Ignatius about a cache of soon-to-be-released communications from Osama Bin Laden. Ignatius writes:

Before his death, Osama bin Laden boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Obama and Gen. David H. Petraeus.“The reason for concentrating on them,” the al-Qaeda leader explained to his top lieutenant, “is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make [Vice President] Biden take over the presidency. . . . Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour . . . and killing him would alter the war’s path” in Afghanistan.

Administration officials said Friday that the Obama-Petraeus plot was never a serious threat.

The scheme is described in one of the documents taken from bin Laden’s compound by U.S. forces on May 2, the night he was killed. I was given an exclusive look at some of these remarkable documents by a senior administration official. They have been declassified and will be available soon to the public in their original Arabic texts and translations.
Some of these documents are apparently long (one, in David's description, is 48 pages), written in garbled syntax, and in Arabic. In other words, this seems like precisely the sort of cache of material that I was talking about last night--declassified anyway, difficult to understand and process, and potentially benefiting from a platform that focuses large numbers of eyes and minds on analyzing and discussing documentary material.Just a thought.

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