Did Zawahiri set up Bin Laden's death?
Eager to become the leader of al Qaeda, the then number two Aymen Zawahiri set up Osama bin Laden by repeatedly sending a courier to his hiding place in Abbottabad who had been interrogated by the CIA, a new book by a former SEAL has claimed.world Updated: Nov 09, 2011 01:28 IST
Eager to become the leader of al Qaeda, the then number two Aymen Zawahiri set up Osama bin Laden by repeatedly sending a courier to his hiding place in Abbottabad who had been interrogated by the CIA, a new book by a former SEAL has claimed.
"Despite knowing that this operative was blown, Zawahiri used Abu Ahmed al Kuwaiti to make repeated trips to Bin Laden's compound," says the book "Seal Target Geronimo" written by a former SEAL, Chuck Pfarrer.
"Based on this accumulation of information, one can draw conclusion that it was Zawahiri who led the US to bin Laden's hiding place in Abbottabad, accomplishing this through a complex and persistent series of lapses in security," he said.
"Some of these slips were subtle and some of them were so obvious that they were laughable," Pfarrer wrote in his book, which also claims that Zawahiri even tried to get the Russians kill bin Laden and he also wrongly diagnosed Bin Laden.
"Zawahiri tried to get the Russians to kill Bin Laden; they did not. He hoped that Addison's disease would take him, but it did not. Now Zawahiri played is final card -- he deliberately used a blown courier to communicate with Osama, and the inevitable happened. The Americans found him," Pfarrer wrote in his 225-page book published by the New York-based St Martin's Press.
He said that for 30 years, Zawahiri had been willing to use violence to bring about his idea of Islamic government. Now, the Muslim faithful were throwing off the chains of dictatorship and calling out not for sharia law but for democracy, the book said.
"Zawahiri had worn himself out trying to get Osama to escalate his attacks against the West. Repeated plans to smuggle chemical weapons into the US had come to naught and now Zawahiri had had enough. By late in 2009, he had determined to wrest control of al Qaeda from Bin Laden," the book says.
"Zawahiri had several advantages over his boss. Besides an innate viciousness, Zawahiri could speak and read English. He was an avid consumer of American news about al Qaeda. Moving between his own 1st-provided safe houses, Zawahiri had his messages delivered in Abu Ahmed al Kuwaiti's fantastically painted four wheel-drive truck. The vehicle and its frequent destination soon attracted the attention of American intelligence," Pfarrer wrote.
"During the Afghan war, Zawahiri had continually urged Osama forward into combat. As his personal physician from 1984 to 2003, Zawahiri examined and treated Osama frequently. Zawahiri was a trained physician who studied at one of the finest universities in the Middle East. Yet he failed to diagnose Osama's obvious symptoms of back pain, low blood pressure, and fainting spells," he said.
"All of these, and a telltale craving for table salt led to a diagnosis that was obvious, yet Zawahiri never mentioned it to Osama and withheld from him the easy-to-acquire medication that would have held his disease in check," the former SEALs wrote in his latest book.
Referring to the documents and materials obtained from the Abbottabad compound, Pfarrer says that Osama bin Laden, himself did not like Zawahiri and was planning to exclude him from the new leadership structure of the terrorist outfit that he was making.
"SEALs would carry away five hundred data systems, hard drives, computers, laptops, monitors, notebooks written in Arabic and English, papers, financial records, and wire diagrams of a new al Qaeda that Osama was planning — one that did not include Zawahiri," Pfarrer said.
"Osama had watched the news, too. He had considered now that Egypt had its revolution, Zawahiri's principal qualification for being in the ranks of al Qaeda's leadership was gone. Bin Laden did not want attacks carried out against Egypt, and documents show that Zawahiri was planning a spectacular bombing in Tahrir Square," he said.
"Ironically, intel analysts reading through Bin Laden's papers would discover that Osama was planning a full break with Zawahiri. That move came too late to prevent Zawahiri from moving against him," Pfarrer wrote.
First Published: Nov 08, 2011 08:56 IST