No longer able to control the very movement he started, Osama bin Laden died questioning how to regain power of an increasingly violent al Qaeda.

For years, the leader of the dangerous jihadi movement gave orders while first, on the run and later, from his secret Pakistani compound where he disappeared from the public eye with his family and aides.

Now, during the same week as the first anniversary of the bin Laden’s death, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) has released 17 declassified documents online, which give a detailed look at the leader of terror in his own words.

“Rather than a source of strength, Bin Ladin was burdened by what he viewed as the incompetence of the ‘affiliates,’ including their lack of political acumen to win public support, their media campaigns and their poorly planned operations which resulted in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Muslims,” according to the report, “Letters from Abbotabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined?”

The analysis includes 195 pages in its original language, Arabic, and 197 pages printed in English. The information is a small percentage of the 6,000 items collected the night bin Laden was killed, according to CNN.

In total, five different computers, more than a dozen hard drives, over one hundred thumb drives, and discs provided the information.

“The end of the raid in Abbottabad was the beginning of a massive analytical effort as experts from across the Intelligence Community (IC) worked to exploit these captured documents, which in turn undoubtedly contributed to additional operations,” said General (R) John P. Abizaid, distinguished chair of the CTC, in the analysis.

The lead orchestrator in the 9-11 attacks was killed by members of the Navy SEALs’ Team Six on May 2 of last year, ending the global search for him that spanned nearly two decades.

The letters are not all penned by bin Laden, as some are addressed to him from al Qaeda top officials. In the memos, bin Laden discusses disdain for American grown terrorists and his loss of control over new leaders within his own group. He furthermore gives other insight to how his family had to live while holed up in hiding, with his children unable to ever go outside, or talk above a whisper without an adult present.

The documents also show that while bin Laden was working diligently on another devastating attack on American soil and other enemy lands, he was also trying to stop new terrorists from invoking the al Qaeda name in killings.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer