At a time when the US was scouring the Af-Pak region in its search for Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda chief feared an Iranian dentist could have planted a tracking device in his wife’s tooth.
“The size of the chip is about the length of a grain of wheat and the width of a fine piece of vermicelli,” he wrote in a letter, using the assumed name Abu Abdallah, The New York Times reported.
“Please destroy this letter after reading it,” said the letter, which was declassified by the US on Tuesday along with 112 pieces of writings and letters that were found in bin Laden’s hideout in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.
Bin Laden was killed when Navy SEALs raided his compound located close to the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad in May 2011.
The documents made public on Tuesday were largely from the last decade of bin Laden’s life, and include letters to other al Qaeda leaders and loved ones, drafts of speeches and “stray bits of operational minutiae”.
They provide insight into his thinking and his struggle to keep al Qaeda’s main branch and offshoots in line as US drones killed the group’s senior leaders and demoralised its foot soldiers, The Times reported.
Among the documents was an undated will that bin Laden is believed to have written by hand in the late 1990s. In it, he said he had received $12 million from one of his brothers and that he had $29 million in Sudan. If he was killed, he wanted his family to “spend all the money that I have left in Sudan on Jihad”, he wrote.
A senior intelligence official said the Central Intelligence Agency did not know what became of the money, or if any of it remained at the time of bin Laden’s death.
The fear of US efforts to track him and kill him is a theme that surfaces again and again in the documents. In a letter, bin Laden warned a suitcase used to deliver a ransom could contain a tracking device.