Osama bin Laden followed developments in Kashmir, documents reveal as CIA releases files

Srinagar

Osama bin Laden closely followed developments in Kashmir and the trial of Pakistani-American Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case, indicated the documents seized during the 2011 US raid on a Pakistani compound that killed the al-Qaeda founder, reports said on Thursday.

The Central Intelligence Agency on Thursday released 470,000 additional files seized in May 2011 when US Navy SEALs burst into the Abbottabad compound and shot dead Laden.

Image Source Internet

The files include Laden’s son’s wedding video and diaries left by the Saudi-born militant.

The documents revealed that Laden closely followed news related to the arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Headley and was a regular reader of some of the top Indian publications.

An Indian Express article titled ‘Omar Sheikh’s Pak handler Ilyas Kashmiri also handled Headley’ was found from the computer of Laden in Abbottabad. The article was dated November 16, 2009.

An article ‘Fears of air-borne terrorists strikes in India, UK’ published in Sri Lanka Guardian was also found in a separate file on Laden’s computer. A PTI story, ‘Al-Qaeda helping Taliban to destabilise Pak Government: Gates’, dated February 9, 2010, was also found on Laden’s computer.

Another article found on Laden’s computer was about the coded communications between Headley and his HuJI links. The news article was published by The Time of India on November 15, 2009.

Laden also saved on his computer another Press Trust of India article, titled: ‘India to send magistrate to US to record Headley’s statement’. Laden highlighted in yellow some portion of the article titled ‘Pak Major handled Headley’s India recce’, published on March 16, 2010.

Image Source: Internet

The highlighted portion reads, “The dossiers also sought the custody of Pakistani terrorist, Ilyas Kashmiri. Kashmiri is the chief of the ‘313 Brigade’ and acts as the ‘military operations head’ of the Al- Qaeda. Intercepts reveal that Kashmiri told two attackers inside Nariman House, ‘Keep fighting, Brigade 313 has been deployed’.”

The documents also revealed that Laden was interested in news related to Kashmir and several terrorists especially IIlyas Kashmiri.

An Economic Times story ‘US asks Pakistan to find Iyas Kashmiri” dated January 7, 2010 was found among the saved documents on Laden’s computer. A February 2009 article “Pakistani Kashmiri militants now fighting NATO forces” was also found.

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