Pierre Thomas, Richard Esposito, and Lee Ferran, ABC News, May 7, 2011
Osama bin Laden aspired to damage the United States not only through persistent terror attacks, but also by attempting to inflame race and class tensions in hopes of tearing down the country from the inside out, according to officials briefed on the evidence trove recovered from the al Qaeda leader’s Pakistan compound.
According to materials in the cache of documents recovered in the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that brought down the terror leader, bin Laden planned to specifically recruit African-American Muslim converts to carry out attacks on the homeland. The goal was to not only kill and maim in the actual operations, but to create a divisiveness that would cause more damage than al Qaeda could ever hope to do on their own.
“Because there were many blacks in the U.S., he wanted to capitalize on them to further the jihadi cause,” one U.S. official told ABC News. “Al Qaeda sees the black convert community as ripe for recruiting.”
But it’s also strategy that civil rights activist and President of the National Action Network Rev. Al Sharpton said was “radical” and outrageous.
“I think it would be the most cynical abuse of African-Americans and America in general,” Sharpton told ABC News. “Remember, Osama bin Laden killed blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone on 9/11. . . . For him to use race relations in the U.S. in a way to support his terroristic barbarism is the absolute height of cynicism.”
“I think the viewpoint reflects more of a Neo-Nazi, white supremacist outlook on American whites than anything based in reality,” he [Ibrahim Hooper, National Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations] said. “I think it’s fantasy based on a fundamental misunderstanding of American society.”
Officials: Al Qaeda Considered 9/11 Anniversary Attack
Analysts have yet to uncover any specific, imminent terror plots, but documents did reveal al Qaeda had considered an attack on the U.S. rail system on Sept. 11, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
A bulletin issued Thursday by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and obtained by ABC News describes the terror organization’s chilling desire to derail a train on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
“We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the U.S. rail sector, but wanted to make our partners aware of the alleged plotting,” said Chandler [DHS press secretary Matt Chandler].