`Osama planned 9/11 anniversary attack in US`

Slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his operations head were plotting to attack the US on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 strikes.

Updated: Jul 15, 2011, 10:19 AM IST

Washington: Slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his operations head were plotting to attack the
US on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11
strikes, a media report has claimed.

Osama bin Laden was shot dead by US commandos during a
surprise raid at his safe house in Pakistan`s garrison town of
Abbottabad where he lived for the last five year.

"Bin Laden and his operations chief Attiyah Abd
al-Rahman swapped views about the composition of the attack
team, with bin Laden repeatedly rejecting names that Rahman
suggested," the Wall Street Journal reported quoting officials
familiar with the intelligence taken from bin Laden`s house.

It said the plan, according to US officials, were only
in the discussion phase.

According to the Journal, in the days following the US
raid, American officials said the materials seized from the
compound showed enthusiasm for carrying out attacks on dates
of symbolic significance, prompting them to worry about July 4
and September 11.

But officials didn`t disclose at that time that there
had been specific planning for another attack on September 11
this year, the daily reported.

In a recent meeting, Acting CIA Director Michael
Morrell told his staff that one of their top priorities would
be to make sure that neither that plan nor any others were
carried out.

However, the information obtained so far does not give
any idea about the attack sites selected by bin Laden and or
if people were ready for this purpose.

Some US officials cautioned that other materials in
the trove showed bin Laden was often ignored by his
underlings, the WSJ said.

"What we found was that he was very isolated, and it
is clearly the case he was struggling to continue to hold on
to the type of influence and to direct operations in ways he
may have been able to do in the past," a US official was
quoted as saying.

According to the daily, the information obtained from
the treasure trove has not lead to any major arrest or killing
mainly because the al Qaeda leaders soon change their tactics
and location.

For example, the two phone numbers that bin Laden had
sewn into his clothing at the time he was killed didn`t
provide actionable leads, the official said.

One connected to a public phone center in the tribal
areas of Pakistan. The other turned out to be a dead end, it
said.

Phone numbers retrieved from phones obtained at the
bin Laden compound also led nowhere, the daily added.

PTI