Sunday 21 January 2018

Bin Laden feared Iranians would implant trackers in his sons

Osama Bin Laden
Osama Bin Laden

Eileen Sullivan and Deb Riechmann

Secluded in his hideaway in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden suspected Iranian officials might implant tracking devices in his sons, according to a document released in a batch of materials seized in a 2011 raid that killed the al-Qa'ida leader.

"If they inject you with a shot, this shot might be loaded with a tiny chip," bin Laden wrote in an undated letter to his sons, Uthman and Mohammed, who were being allowed to leave Iran. "The syringe size may be normal, but the needle is expected to be larger than normal size. The chip size may be as long as a seed of grain but very thin and smooth."

In its final hours, the Obama administration released the last of three instalments of documents belonging to bin Laden that were collected during the raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

In the second batch of documents, released last March, bin Laden also expressed the same paranoia in a letter to one of his wives, who also lived in Iran.

"I was told that you went to a dentist in Iran and you were concerned about a filling she put in for you," bin Laden wrote.

He said he wanted to be told of any concerns she or any of his followers had about "chips planted in any way".

Tracking down and killing the man behind the 2001 terrorist attacks on America is one of President Barack Obama's greatest accomplishments.

Intelligence officials have worked for more than two years to declassify the hundreds of documents captured in the raid.

The last batch, consisting of 49 documents, includes a running disagreement between bin Laden and al-Qa'ida's affiliate in Iraq, which morphed into Isil.

Those militants are currently the top target of US counter-terrorism efforts.

The Pentagon announced yesterday that the US Air Force attacked a pair of Isil military camps in Libya, seeking to eliminate extremists who had escaped from their former stronghold of Sirte.

Bin Laden was responsible for orchestrating the September 11 strikes against the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people.

In a letter to a fellow militant, written after 9/11, bin Laden called on his followers to invent new ways to battle the West.

"If we cannot manufacture weapons like the weapons of the Crusader West, we can destroy its complicated industrial and economic system and exhaust its forces that fight without faith until they escape," he wrote.

Irish Independent

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