Bin Laden letters made public online

The 17 documents total 175 pages in Arabic and 197 translated to English, and they date from September 2006 to April 2011. They include letters from bin Laden and other top al Qaeda leaders.

The files show that bin Laden was concerned with the regional al Qaeda groups, as the CTC says they reveal that al Qaeda was not "in sync" with affiliate groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or al-Shabaab.

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“Bin Laden’s frustration with regional jihadi groups and his seeming inability to exercise control over their actions and public statements is the most compelling story to be told on the basis of the 17 declassified documents captured during the Abbottabad raid in May 2011,” the CTC writes in its analysis of the letters.

“He was at pains advising them to abort domestic attacks that cause Muslim civilian casualties and instead focus on the United States, ‘our desired goal,’ ” the center says.

The CTC wrote that bin Laden was “burdened” by the incompetence of the affiliates, and he urged them to focus on the United States. He wrote to the leader of AQAP warning against plans to declare an Islamist state in Yemen or target the Yemeni government.

Bin Laden outlined an operation to target President Obama and Gen. David Petraeus, who at the time was the U.S. commander in Afghanistan. He wanted to target the airplanes that were known to be carrying the two U.S. leaders.

The release of the documents comes one day after the White House granted NBC access to the Situation Room for an interview with President Obama about the bin Laden raid.

You can read the bin Laden documents and the CTC analysis here.