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Osama's last 'spectacular' plan to attack US

By Vicky Nanjappa
May 02, 2011 14:51 IST
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What was Osama bin Laden planning before he was killed by United States forces? According to reports from the intelligence agencies, he had planned a 9/11-styled attack in Asia.

The last of his plans, which was delayed, was to hijack aircraft from Asia and crash them into US installations in Asian countries.

This was one of Osama's pet plans for the past five years but with increasing security cover for airlines in the US post 9/11 attacks, he decided to hijack airlines from the Asian region where he thought security was lax.

Sources in the IB said that till his last breath, Osama's prime target was only the United Sates of America. Although he had expressed at times that Kashmir was also part of his agenda, he kept away from it since he felt that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba had its forces there.

Moreover, Pakistani spy agency Inter Services Intelligence, which has absolute control over every terrorist outfit, wanted a clear bifurcation as who its forces would fight.

Various intercepts and dossiers pertaining to Osama only went on to show that his primary focus has always been the US and he would try and attack any installation of interest that the US owned or controlled.

Moreover, it is a known fact that he had always declared US to be his primary enemy and hence all his resources were used in focusing on that country.

Osama bin Laden's final plan was, however, a lethal one. It aimed at creating a scare worse than the 9/11 terror attacks in New York.

The interrogation of Abd Al Malik Al Wahab, one of Laden's men captured in Afghanistan, revealed this horrific plan. He was one of the key men in the Al Qaeda network and was training to be a suicide bomber.

During his interrogation he had revealed that the outfit's plan to hijack airlines in Asia and crash them into US-owned installations in Asia.

While bin Laden always felt the need to continue to battle US forces on the ground in Afghanistan, he was in favour of 'spectacular' attacks. There was an increasing feeling within Al Qaeda that the world felt that they were beaten post 9/11.

Battling forces on the ground was not yielding much of a result for them with US forces claiming victory almost every day. Laden felt that there was a need to carry out something 'spectacular' which would get the attention of the world.

Wahab during his interrogation had revealed that he was working alongiside 30 men for this operation and they had been identifying trained pilots to undertake this job.
Apparently they did not find it a challenge owing to the clout he possessed over the youth.

However, as reports started to leak out, the world got to know about this plan, and Laden had to cancel it. Many reports suggested that this was considered to be an eye wash and looking at the manner in which he operated, it was pretty clear that he would have cancelled it only to divert forces.

Laden's biggest quality was the level of patience that he showed. He could plan for nearly a decade and lay low and strike, which many termed as a surprise element.

This was one of the traits that have been adopted by most of the terrorist outfits who use this as their most lethal weapon till date.

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