RealNews

Sources: Private Bin Laden Letters Called For Attacks

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden sent a private message to followers in February, ordering them to attack the United States and its allies, intelligence sources tell CNN. The sources said the message was taken by couriers from an area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border — where bin Laden is believed to be hiding — to locations in Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus region and Asia. “He sent personal letters to key al Qaeda leaders, regional leaders as well as leaders of al Qaeda-associated groups, urging them to launch terrorist attacks against the targets of the United States, its allies and its friends,” said Rohan Gunaratna, author of “Inside al Qaeda,” who has strong connections to anti-terrorism investigators. Intelligence officials believe at least one of bin Laden’s letters reached the intended recipient, resulting in the deadly terrorist attack on Western housing compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last month that killed 26 people, including nine Americans. Sources close to the investigation said that Yosif Salih Fahd Al-Ayeeri, one of the men suspected of taking part in that attack, was carrying a letter from bin Laden when he was killed in a shoot-out with Saudi security forces. The private letters came at the same time as bin Laden released a public message, an audiotape, that urged the Iraqi people to fight against an imminent U.S. invasion. Full Story

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