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Osama was planning to attack US railroad network

May 6, 2011 - New York

Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden played a direct role for years in plotting terror attacks from his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, with an attack on the US railroad network since 9/11 being his primary target.

After reviewing computer files and documents seized at the compound where bin Laden was killed, American intelligence analysts have found a handwritten notebook from February 2010 that discusses tampering with tracks to derail a train on a bridge, possibly on Christmas, New Year's Day, the day of the State of the Union address or the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

But they said there was no evidence of a specific plot, The New York Times reports.

An Obama administration official said that documents about attacking railroads were among the first to be translated from Arabic and analyzed. The materials, along with others reviewed in the intelligence cache, have given intelligence officials a much richer picture of the Qaeda founder's leadership of the network as he tried to elude a global dragnet.

"He wasn't just a figurehead. He continued to plot and plan, to come up with ideas about targets and to communicate those ideas to other senior Qaeda leaders," said one American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, who had been briefed on the documents.

The documents taken at the Abbottabad compound, according to American officials, show that Bin Laden was in touch regularly with the terror network he created.


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