'Indian brother' to 'heroic' 26/11: How India featured in Osama bin Laden's files
From a view on climate change to application forms for wannabe jihadists, the latest documents recovered from former al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden's Abbottabad residence that were declassified by US authorities yesterday also reveal that India featured briefly in the communication he received. From funds from an unidentified 'Indian brother' in Madinah to describing terror operations as 'blessed ones' here are the top highlights of what was found in connection with India:
The 'Indian brother' who tipped generously
In a spreadsheet that has been declassified by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence there are two amounts that have been received from the 'Indian brother' which were used for other operations.
In an entry for May 2009 there is a receipt for Pakistani rupees 2,92,400 while in July 2009 there is a receipt of 3,35,000. The generous 'Indian brother' also gave a generous 5,000 rupees to the messenger who had taken the money.
An Indian Express report points to the fact that while no Indian national had been named as an al Qaeda financier there was a Saudi and Oman national who had Indian mothers and were accused of funding terror operations in the past and may be the 'Indian brother' referred to.
The report points that Saudi national Mahmoud Muhammad Banhaziq had been named as a terror financier by the UN in 2005 and was reportedly arrested in Saudi Arabia, but has since been untraced. Omani national Abdul Rahman al-Hooti is the other possibility and he's presently serving a life term in prison after being found guilty of attempting to target landmarks in Muscat. Both of them are also accused of funding jihadist operations in India.
The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the documents, released as online images, were among a collection of books, US think tank reports and other materials recovered in the May 2011 raid that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad.
The 'blessed' and 'heroic' terror attacks in India
India also finds mention in a letter titled 'Terror Franchise: The unstoppable assassin' written by Abu-Salih Al Somali that was recovered from bin Laden's residence with the November 2008 terror attack in Mumbai is 'a blessed operation'.
Listing the various operations carried out across the world, the letter goes on to say:
"and lately the heroic Fidai operations in Bombay-India's economical capital- in which several western targets were struck in which many Americans and other westerners were killed."
The writer also goes on to praise the 'beautiful' German bakery bombing in 2010 in which 17 perople were killed since the site was visited by foreign nationals:
"Following that, was the beautiful huge bombing-also in India- of the western German bakery mainly visited by Jews and western nationals in general...," the document says.
The document was also was particularly critical of the Pakistani intelligence service Inter Services Intelligence referring to them as dogs for selling out to the US.
"ISI dogs gathered the somewhat freely available info from their countless money-worshipping tribal agents, or from the many captured among the Mujahideen and civilians, in check posts, sudden ambushes, and sudden raids on houses during the preparation stage through 2003-2006," Somali said.
While an Economic Times article said that Somali was reportedly killed in a drone strike in 2009 a Hindustan Times article said that he was a Somali named Abdirizaq Abdi Saleh and is heading al Qaeda's 'external relations' in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region.
The documents, as this report points out, also portray a leader cut off from his underlings, disappointed by their failures, beset by their complaints and regretting years of separation from much of his extensive family.