London: Leaders of al Qaeda and the Taliban closely planned attacks against NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan Government and targets in Pakistan, a document found in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound has revealed.
According to The Guardian, the documents reveal a three-way conversation between bin Laden, his then deputy Ayman Zawahiri and Mullah Omar, the overall commander of the Taliban.
A Washington-based source familiar with communication indicated that there was a ‘very considerable degree of ideological convergence’.
Some of the communications date back several years, but others are said to have been taken from only weeks before the May 02, 2011 raid in which bin Laden died.
“Questions and issues come up. They don’t see eye to eye on everything, but it’s clear they understand they have an interest in co-operating [on attacks against NATO, Afghan government and Pakistani targets],” the paper quoted the source, as saying.
“Of those engaged in the conversation, two [Zawahiri and Omar] are still alive today and there is no reason to believe that either has substantially changed his views in the last year,” the source added.
According to the paper, the documents showed that bin Laden was in direct or indirect communication with the Nigerian-based militant group, Boko Haram, as well as other militant outfits.
Bin Laden is said to have urged followers to avoid indiscriminate attacks on Muslims and pondered over rebranding al Qaeda.
The memos stated broad strategic aims, but little ‘hands-on’ planning.
First Published: Monday, April 30, 2012, 13:56