Osama bin Laden planned second attack after 9/11, new papers reveal 2 months ago

Osama bin Laden planned second attack after 9/11, new papers reveal

It would seem the Twin Towers and Pentagon may not have been the only targets

In documents scarcely seen until now, evidence of communication between al Qaeda members reveals that Osama bin Laden plotted further attacks following the devastating events of 9/11.

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As covered in a recent episode of CBS show 60 Minutes, the newly spotlighted bin Laden papers detail how the founding father and leader of the terrorist group responsible for the attack on New York's Trade Centre buildings in 2001 had been plotting with other members to carry out a series of "spectacular attacks".

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The papers, acquired by Navy SEALS following his capture and execution on May 2, 2011, have been examined by author and Islamic scholar, Nelly Lahoud, for the past five years and she told 60 Minutes's Sharyn Alfonsi how bin Laden was conspiring to attack the US with chartered jets and train derailments.

In a letter to al Qaeda's international terror unit, bin Laden suggested that instead of hijacking a plane, militants should charter a private jet for their next attack or, alternatively, target America's railway system.

Bin Laden planned jet and railway attacks in 2002 Credit: CBS News' 60 Minutes
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Lahoud goes on to say that "he wanted to have 12 metres of steel rail removed so that, this way, the train could be derailed. And we find him, explaining the simple toolkit that they could use", writing: "You could use a compressor. You could use a smelting iron tool."

Bin Laden was said to have planned the group's movements down to the last "granular detail" and was well-versed in how certain attacks could be pulled off due to his civil engineering degree.

Even prior to being foiled a decade later, a family notebook seized in the now-infamous raid dubbed Neptune Spear suggested that the Arab Spring protests and anti-government uprisings ultimately confused bin Laden and conspirators, seemingly causing them to change tact and divert focus across the MENA (Middle East and North Africa).

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Moreover, bin Laden is said to have been surprised by the US reaction to 9/11 itself, expecting civilians to take to the streets and urge the government to pull out of Muslim territories, not go to war.

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