New York: Al-Qaeda, responsible for numerous terror strikes across the globe, once discussed surprising agendas like combating climate change and intellectual property, newly-emerged documents and letters show.
A trove of documents that were among those seized in the 2011 raid on then al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, were presented recently during the trial of Pakistani national Abid Naseer at a Brooklyn court.
The documents, which consist of correspondence between Osama and senior al-Qaeda leaders, show the state of the global terror operation in the months leading up to his death.
They paint a picture of an organisation crippled by the US drone campaign, blindsided by the Arab Spring and struggling to maintain control over its affiliates and yet still chillingly resolute in its mission to strike the US.
Occasionally, the letters veer into discussing bizarre and surprising agendas like strategies to mitigate the future consequences of climate change.
"You don't fail to notice that due to climate change, there's drought in some areas and floods in others. The brothers in Somalia must be warned so that they can take the maximum precautions possible. This lays on the shoulders of the leadership more than on the residents living along the rivers and valleys," a letter is quoted as saying by the American Foreign Affairs magazine.
"One of these precautions is to establish an alert system to warn the families and establish an advanced observation point on the upper part of the river to warn people when heavy rainfall and flooding occur using a wireless device," it says.
This letter also included a note at the bottom, "Attached is a report about climate change, especially the floods in Pakistan. Please send it to Al-Jazeera."
"It may seem surprising that one of the most extreme fundamentalist groups in the world is more open minded about science than some in the United States, but it is not actually all that shocking, considering that for centuries, the Islamic world was a wellspring of scientific and technological achievement," the magazine says.
"Al Qaeda seems to think it has even more knowledge and intellectual property to offer. The shadowy international terrorist organisation whose leaders and members are wanted criminals in just about every country in the Western world and many outside it is evidently very concerned with securing legal protection for its intellectual products," it says.
In a discussion about making a video to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, bin Laden writes, "Regarding the question of copyrighted material for Al-Jazeera and Al-Sahab (Al Qaeda's media arm), Zaydan should negotiate with Al-Jazeera to have the video footage copyrighted for them while the text and audio copyrights be for Al-Sahab."