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Osama plotted new attacks on key US cities
Washington/ Islamabad, May 6 (IANS/ PTI):
Published on 6 May. 2011 10:57 PM IST
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Al Qaeda was planning attacks on key US cities and railways timed to significant dates, a treasure trove of material taken from Osama bin Laden’s hideout deep inside Pakistan indicates. Material recovered from the raid on Osama’s Abbottabad hideout indicated that in February 2010, Al Qaeda members discussed a plan to derail trains in the US on the 10th anniversary of the Sep 11, 2001 attacks by placing obstructions on tracks, media reports said.
Other material gathered from the sprawling mansion where Osama was hiding also suggests that Al Qaeda was particularly interested in striking Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the CNN said. US authorities have found that Al Qaeda appears especially interested in striking on significant dates like America’s July 4 Independence Day, Christmas and the opening day of the UN.
As a precaution, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Thursday sent out an alert advising federal, state and local agencies about the new evidence of a possible rail plot. “As one option, Al Qaeda was looking into trying to tip a train by tampering with the rails so that the train would fall off the track at either a valley or a bridge,” said the DHS advisory. After reviewing computer files and seized documents, American intelligence analysts have concluded that Osama played a direct role for years in plotting terror attacks from his Abbottabad hideout, The New York Times said citing US officials. The materials, along with others reviewed in the intelligence cache, have given intelligence officials a much richer picture of the Al Qaeda founder’s leadership of the network as he tried to elude a global dragnet, it said.
“He wasn’t just a figurehead,” the Times cited one American official as saying. “He continued to plot and plan, to come up with ideas about targets, and to communicate those ideas to other senior Qaeda leaders.” The fact that Osama was found not in Pakistan’s rugged tribal areas but on the outskirts of an affluent town less than an hour’s drive from the capital, Islamabad, has prompted a rethinking of the widespread notion that he had little control over the rest of Al Qaeda, the daily said.
Osama was living in Abbottabad for 5 yrs
While the US-led forces were hunting for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan’s unruly tribal areas for years, the al-Qaeda chief had been living a secluded life in a million-dollar mansion in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad for five years, according to one of his wives.
The Yemeni woman said bin Laden had been living in the compound in Abbottabad for the past five years, Geo News Channel quoted unnamed senior Pakistani military officials as saying. Bin Laden usually confined himself to two or three rooms and never went outside, she told the officials. The report said that women and children found in the compound included three wives of bin Laden. One of the women was injured in the firing.
The military officials also said that bin Laden’s daughter, found in the compound, had told them that she had seen her father being killed on the upper floor of a building and then dragged down a flight of stairs.
A woman killed during the raid, previously described in some accounts as bin Laden’s wife, was actually the wife of a Pakistani guard of the al-Qaeda leader, the officials were quoted as saying.
The officials said the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies were not informed about the US raid.
They contended that Pakistan had given the US a lot of information on bin Laden’s whereabouts in the past two years, including intelligence gleaned from intercepts of some phone conversations in May and August last year.

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