Osama bin Laden papers include loving notes, terrorist application

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U.S. Releases Documents Seized In Raid That Killed Osama Bin Laden

WASHINGTON (AP) -- During his years in hiding, Osama bin Laden urged followers to concentrate on attacking Americans and wrote bittersweet letters to one of his wives and his children, according to documents released Wednesday by U.S. intelligence officials.

The documents were seized in the al-Qaida leader's compound during the raid in which bin Laden was killed. More than 100 were declassified and published at http://www.dni.gov/index.php/resources/bin-laden-bookshelf?start1

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Osama bin Laden papers include loving notes, terrorist application
U.S. President Barack Obama stands after addressing the nation on TV from the East Room of the White House to make a televised statement May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. Bin Laden has been killed near Islamabad, Pakistan almost a decade after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and his body is in possession of the United States. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by The White House, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama later announced that the United States had killed Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)
A newspaper vendor displays papers heralding the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
US Marines of Regiment Combat Team 1 (RCT 1) watch TV as President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama Bin Laden, at Camp Dwyer in Helman Province, on May 2, 2011. US President Barack Obama said on May 1, 2011 that justice had been done after the September 11, 2001 attacks with the death of Osama bin Laden, but warned that Al-Qaeda will still try to attack the US. (Photo by Bay Ismoyo via AFP/Getty Images)
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. Bin Laden was killed in an operation by U.S. Navy Seals in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Newspapers left by visitors grace the fence overlooking the crash site of Flight 93 following the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan May 2, 2011 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001 construction is underway to erect a formal memorial at the crash site. Last night U.S. President Barack Obama announced 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. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
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The documents include a fill-in-the-blanks job application for terrorist candidates that ranges from typical questions about education and hobbies to "Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?"

Altogether, the 103 papers and videos add new texture to the world's picture of the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, much of it in his own words. They include videos and images of letters in Arabic, with the English translations by intelligence officials.

The material was recovered in the May 2011 raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said. It said it was being made public after a rigorous review by government agencies, as required by a 2014 law.

U.S. officials had said at the time of his death that they believed bin Laden had become so isolated in his hideout that he no longer exercised the level of control over al-Qaida operations that he had in the past.

In one letter, bin Laden urges one of his deputies to inform "our brothers" they must keep their focus on fighting Americans. Their "job is to uproot the obnoxious tree by concentrating on its American trunk, and to avoid being occupied with the local security forces," bin Laden writes.

Another bin Laden letter mocks President George W. Bush's "war on terror," saying it had not achieved stability in Iraq or Afghanistan and questioning why U.S. troops were "searching for the lost phantom" - weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. No date is included on the U.S. translation.

In a video letter to one of his wives, also described as bin Laden's "last will," he says, "Know that you do fill my heart with love, beautiful memories, and your longsuffering of tense situations in order to appease me and be kind to me."

Among the documents is an al-Qaida job application that begins with the mundane, asking applicants to "please write clearly and legibly."

It asks conventional questions, such as has the applicant ever been convicted of a crime, before veering into more chilling territory, including: "What objectives would you like to accomplish on your jihad path?"

It then asks whether the applicant wishes to execute a suicide mission.

It ends: "Who should we contact in case you become a martyr?"


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