- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 21, 2017

The White House this week quietly released the last of the documents it obtained during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden nearly six years after the former Al Qaeda leader was killed inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence published declassified versions of 49 of bin Laden’s documents Thursday, Barack Obama’s last full day as president, rounding out his administration by recalling a highlight of his tenure in office.

Along with administrative instructions and monthly accounting ledgers, the trove includes revealing personal correspondence discovered by Navy SEALS during the course of the May 2011 raid, such as letters penned by the late terrorist leader to various relatives and subordinates.

In a letter dated January 7, 2011, four months prior to his death, bin Laden told his sons Uthman and Muhammad that he was “longing” to see them, but that “our security situation does not allow us at this time to be together.”

In another to Nasir Al Wuhayshi, the founder of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, bin Laden cautioned against acting too fast with respect to forming an “Islamic State” in the region.

“Blood should not be shed unless we have evidence to show that the elements of success to establish the Islamic State and maintaining it are available or if achieving such goals is worthy of shedding such blood,” he wrote.

“There might be a huge reaction that could drag us into a real war.”

Thursday’s disclosure marked the third and final release of documents obtained during the bin Laden raid more than two years after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) began a lengthy declassification process prior to making them publicly available.

“These releases, which followed a rigorous interagency review, align with the President’s call for increased transparency–consistent with national security prerogatives–and the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act, which required the ODNI to conduct a review of the documents for release,” the office said in a statement accompanying their release this week.

Bin Laden took credit for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed roughly 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and was killed on Mr. Obama’s watch nearly a decade later.

Defense officials announced separately this week that more than 100 al Qaeda fighters were killed Thursday when a training camp in Syria was successfully targeted by a U.S. air strike.

Upon taking the oath of office Friday, President Donald Trump vowed to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”

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