May 20, 2015
Dartmouth College has experts available to comment on the newly released documents from U.S. intelligence officials that were found during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.
- Daniel Benjamin, director of Dartmouth’s Dickey Center for International Understanding and the former counterterrorism coordinator at the U.S. State Department, is available at Daniel.Benjamin@dartmouth.edu.
- Steven Simon, a visiting lecturer at Dartmouth and senior fellow at The Middle East Institute, is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“These documents underscore how focused bin Laden was on the United States and his opposition to the formation of an Islamic state, which he believed would be too easy to target,” Benjamin says. “This trove shows that all that time holed up in Abbottabad fueled his paranoia and provides insight into his thinking at the end of his life.”
“These documents show that bin Laden was active until the end, although how effective he was is open to question,” Simon says. “He was clearly still committed to war against the United States, taking applications for new recruits, planning propaganda campaigns and — notably — advising al Qaeda affiliates to play nice with local tribes. It also shows him as an anxious husband, hoping that his wives will choose to be with him in the next world should they remarry after his death in this world. Although this trove doesn’t shatter our understanding of al Qaeda and bin Laden, it rounds out the picture in useful ways.”