Bin Laden's poison pen letter to Americans

Bin Laden's poison pen letter to Americans
An open letter by Osama bin Laden to the American people has been released by the US from a trove of documents discovered after his death.
2 min read
21 May, 2015
Bin Laden warned the American people about further attacks [AFP]
An open letter from Osama bin Ladin to the American people has been released, where the al-Qaeda leader tries to justify his anti-Western stance.

The letter was found by US forces following the raid on Bin Laden's Pakistan hideout in 2011, and is believed to have been written between 2009 and 2011. It was declassified by the US government on Wednesday.

In the letter, Bin Laden defends al-Qaeda's war on the West and criticises former president George W Bush and his successor Barack Obama for the US occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bin Laden said that the US had become embroiled in wars "under the pretext that they are vital to security".

"He promised you it would be a quick war... then came Obama and delayed the withdrawal that he had promised you by 16 more months." 

Warning to the US

He warned Americans that their soldiers would continue to "bleed" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that there would be no end in sight to the wars. 

The al-Qaeda chief attempted to explain the religious viewpoints behind al-Qaeda's war on the US.

"As for us, jihad against tyrants and aggressors is the best form of worship in our religion and is more precious to us than our fathers and sons," it read. 

"Therefore, our jihad against you is worship, and when you kill us, we become martyrs." 

It concluded: "Continue the war if you will. The road to peace is for you to end your oppression against us."  

The disclosure of Bin Laden's documents comes days after an article by Seymour Hersh, in which the American investigative reporter questioned the official US account of Bin Laden's killing in Abottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.

Hersh alleged that Pakistani intelligence agencies knew where Bin Laden was, linking to a theory that the al-Qaeda commander was under house arrest.

Hersh also claimed that the documents seized by US forces during the raid were either worthless or fabricated.