Bin Laden wanted to replicate 9/11 jihad attacks, didn’t expect magnitude of US response to them

There were gross miscalculations on both sides. Osama bin Laden thought antiwar sentiment would be much stronger than it turned out to be, and that the U.S. government’s response to 9/11 would be much weaker. The U.S., meanwhile, along with the rest of the West, steadfastly refused to face the ideological wellsprings of the attacks, and allowed those who hold the same world view to settle in large numbers in Europe and North America, with consequences that have yet to be fully seen.

“Osama bin Laden was ‘eager to replicate 9/11,’ plotted further atrocities against US: letters,” by Lee Brown, New York Post, April 25, 2022:

Osama bin Laden had been “very eager to replicate the 9/11 attacks” against the US — and actively plotted to blow up oil tankers, derail trains and use private jets as weapons, according to a trove of seized documents.

The plots were spelled out in more than 500,000 letters and files seized by the Navy SEAL team that executed the mass-murdering al Qaeda leader in 2011, according to Nelly Lahoud, an Islamic scholar who spent years carefully studying the trove.

They show that the terrorist was “very eager to replicate the 9/11 attacks in the United States,” Lahoud, a senior fellow in New America’s International Security program, told “60 Minutes.”

Bin Laden was “mindful” that security had become “very difficult at airports” after his monstrous Sept. 11 attacks — and so told his henchmen to instead consider chartering private jets to attack the US.

Knowing that would be difficult, too, he also spelled out a detailed plan to slaughter American commuters on a train.

He wanted to have around 40 feet of track removed so that a “train could be derailed,” said Lahoud, who first analyzed the documents for West Point’s Combatting Terrorism Center….

The plots were detailed in letters from 2004, according to Lahoun — who said the “diminutive”-sounding terrorist was so scared in hiding after Sept. 11 that he did not communicate with his henchmen for three years.

In 2010, a year before his death, bin Laden plotted to target multiple crude oil tankers and major shipping routes around the Middle East and Africa.

Bin Laden saw “the importance of oil for the industrialized economy” as “similar to blood for human beings,” Lahoud said.

“So, if you cause somebody to bleed excessively, even if you don’t kill him you will at least weaken him,” she said.

“He really wanted to do to the American economy,” she said….

The plans were never carried out, and bin Laden came across as “far from” in control of al Qaeda, Lahoud said, stressing that the letters made clear he was “absolutely not” calling the shots….

This was in part down to a “huge miscalculation” in how bin Laden predicted the US would respond to losing thousands on Sept. 11.

“He thought that the American people would take to the streets, replicate the anti-Vietnam war protests and they would put pressure on their government to withdraw from Muslim majority states,” she said, with the letters showing he expected at most “a limited airstrike.”

The docs also showed that al Qaeda had just $200,000 in its coffers in 2006 and was unable to support its increasingly fractious jihad, the report said….

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