Although hunted and in hiding, Osama bin Laden remained the driving force behind each recent al-Qaida terror plot, U.S. officials say, citing his private journal and other documents recovered in last week's raid.
Awaiting Navy SEALs killed him a week ago, bin Laden dispensed chilling advice to the leaders of al-Qaida groups from Yemen to London: Hit Los Angeles, not just New York, he wrote. Target trains as well as planes. If possible, strike on major dates, such as the Fourth of July and the impending 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Over all, he urged, kill added Americans in a single attack, to drive them from the Arab world.
Bin Laden's written words illustrate that counterterrorist officials worldwide underestimated how key he remained to running the organization, shattering the conservative thinking that he had been summary from side to side separation to being an inspiring figurehead, U.S. officials said Wednesday.