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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Osama bin Laden’s plans before death: the assassination of Obama

“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,” President Barack Obama announced on May 2, 2011.

People from all across the nation chanted “U.S.A” as they remembered the men and women who perished on Sept. 11, and, finally, many had received a sense of closure. The world had heard the last of bin Laden — or so it seemed.

In the mission to capture bin Laden, code-named “Operation Neptune Spear,” U.S. Navy’s Sea, Air and Land Teams raided his compound. After killing bin Laden, they collected invaluable computer hard drives, CDs and paper files — including one that detailed a plan to assassinate Obama.

“Please ask brother Ilyas (senior member of al-Qaeda) to send me the steps he has taken into that work,” bin Laden wrote in a 48-page note to his top lieutenant, according to BBC News.

During his final days, the notorious leader of al-Qaeda wanted his organization to focus on attacking the aircraft of President Obama and General David Petraeus, the current director of the CIA.

“The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency,” explained bin Laden in the confiscated documents, reported the Washington Post. “Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour … and killing him would alter the war’s path.”

Furthermore, the documents portray an increasingly worried bin Laden who was concerned about al-Qaeda’s image, according to the Post.

Bin Laden explained that because the Obama administration “largely stopped using the phrase ‘the war on terror’ in the context of not wanting to provoke Muslims,” Obama had targeted a war specifically against al-Qaeda. Thus, the “al-Qaeda brand” had become a complication.

Bin Laden also pointed out “mistakes” and “miscalculations” by affiliates that had killed fellow Muslims, emphasizing that the spilling of “Muslim blood” had resulted in “the alienation of most of the nation.”

According to the Washington Post, he even proposed several name alternatives, such as ones “that would not easily be shortened to a word that does not represent us.”

Although a glimpse into bin Laden’s reflections and audacious plan of assassinating President Obama were surprising to some, many were not even slightly alarmed.

“All of the terrorist groups had plans to assassinate the U.S. president,” said Robert Duncan, visiting assistant professor of political science and former intelligence officer. “If you were to give a point system for potential targets such as knocking out the president of the U.S.A — you score big. Everyone thinks about it and tries to come up with a plan to accomplish that.”

With the death of bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s top secrets in enemies’ hands, the terrorist organization has seen losses in efficiency and authority. However, the notorious mastermind of al-Qaeda and the group continues to serve as a daunting reminder of bin Laden’s aspirations.

“The organization lacks the ability to plan, organize, and execute complex, catastrophic attacks, but the threat persists,” said a senior administration analyst to the Washington Post.

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