The release last month of eight new documents, captured during the raid that killed Usama bin Laden, is allowing us to re-examine conclusions reached earlier about al-Qaeda (AQ). Two previous posts used the new evidence to look at the relationship between AQ’s leadership and affiliates, and at Bin Laden’s involvement in running his own organization. This post examines what the documents have to say about the complex relationship between AQ and Pakistan.
Eight documents recently released from the archive captured in Abbottabad during the raid on Usama bin Laden are allowing us to reexamine views of al-Qaeda (AQ). Together with seventeen previously released documents, we now have 25 pieces of evidence—from a treasure trove of “millions”—to understand AQ in its own words.
A few weeks ago, documents seized during the 2011 raid that killed Usama Bin Ladin were released to the public for the first time. While only a tiny fraction of the total number captured in Abbottabad, the newly available documents offer a rare opportunity to reexamine a series of assumptions and conclusions about al-Qaeda (AQ), Bin Laden, and the U.S. war with AQ.
As I noted in a post last week, al-Qaeda’s failure to respond to the declaration of the Caliphate by the Islamic State (IS)—formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS)—has been rather puzzling. Given the seriousness of the dispute between the two organizations and the challenge that the new state poses to al-Qaeda’s dominance of the global jihad, it would seem incumbent upon the more established group to answer the declaration in some convincing way. This week, at long last, al-Qaeda has issued a short newsletter that contains at least the beginning of a response to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s announcement.It also allows us to see that al-Qaeda might have been setting up this response over the past few weeks.