Photo by Banaras Khan/AFP/GettyImages.
The latest batch of Osama Bin Laden's papers were made public Thursday, providing a glimpse into the thinking of the now-deceased al-Qaida leader's final days.
The big takeaways: He remained committed to attacking American targets, including President Obama and Gen. David Petraeus, up until the end, but had become increasingly frustrated with what he saw as the incompetence of his allies who led al-Qaida affiliates.
Oh yeah, and as Twitter has probably already (incorrectly) told you, there was something about how he hates Fox News and hearts Keith Olbermann. But we'll get to that in a bit.
Here's a general recap from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, which published the selection of internal documents seized in last year's raid on Bin Laden's Pakistani hideout:
In contrast to his public statements that focused on the injustice of those he believed to be the “enemies” of Muslims, namely corrupt “apostate” Muslim rulers and their Western “overseers,” the focus of Bin Ladin’s private letters is Muslims’ suffering at the hands of his jihadi “brothers”. He is at pain advising them to abort domestic attacks that cause Muslim civilian casualties and focus on the United States, “our desired goal.” Bin Ladin’s frustration with regional jihadi groups and his seeming inability to exercise control over their actions and public statements is the most compelling story to be told on the basis of the 17 de-classified documents. “Letters from Abbottabad” is an initial exploration and contextualization of 17 documents that will be the grist for future academic debate and discussion.
The Associated Press with a more streamlined take: "The documents show dark days for al-Qaida and its hunkered-down leader after years of attacks by the United States and what bin Laden saw as bumbling within his own organization and its terrorist allies."
Nothing in the messages point to collaboration with Pakistani authorities, but the AP reports that "presumably such references would have remained classified" and "it wasn't immediately clear how many of bin Laden's documents the U.S. was still keeping secret."
OK, we've kept you in suspense long enough. About Bin Laden's alleged media criticism: Early reports, including this one from Business Insider, began bouncing around the Web Thursday morning that claimed that Bin Laden thought Fox News "lacked neutrality" while MSNBC was "good and neutral" up until it "fired two of the most famous journalists – Keith Olberman and Octavia Nasser." [sic] (Other pull-quotes: CBS's 60 Minutes was great in part because of "its long broadcasting time.")
In reality, however, it looks like the Twitter-verse got a little ahead of itself. As NPR correctly pointed out from the start, those comments were most likely actually from American-born jihadist Adam Gadahn, who served as an al-Qaida spokesman. (The Atlantic Wire did a good job of documenting the adventures in misreporting on this topic.)
You can read the letters for yourself here.