The bin Laden documents

2017/11/12 Issue: 131 Page: 6

The Arab Weekly

Within the cache of docu­ments seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan in 2011 and recently released by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the al-Qaeda leader’s view of Iran. It had generously offered al-Qaeda “money and arms and everything they need,” bin Laden wrote, “and offered them training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in return for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia.”

The words add breadth and depth to reports that have circulated for years about the ties between Iran and the terrorist group responsible for 9/11. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the newly released documents as “fake news” but they only buttress allegations about Iran’s old habits and proclivities.

Bin Laden also mused on the destabilising benefits of the “Arab spring” uprisings and the role played by the Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera. He lauded the channel for “working on toppling regimes” and for “carrying the banner of the revolutions.”

Bin Laden was clear about the potential benefits of the uprisings. “This chaos and the absence of leadership in the revolutions is the best environment to spread al-[Qaeda’s] thoughts and ideas,” bin Laden told his family in conversations that took place between February and April 2011.

In Libya, he said, the chaos could be fully exploited because it had “opened the door for jihadists.”

Ironically, even in his last redoubt, bin Laden saw the possibility of the Libyan situation spinning out of control but the parties that supported the NATO-led campaign that toppled Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 somehow did not.

As Printed
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar


Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi


Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor

Subscription & Advertising:

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved