A look at the Abbottabad letters


Several weeks ago, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) released a compilation of correspondence obtained from Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, in the aftermath of the raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader in May of last year. 

The document collection is extensive, and is comprised of translations of correspondence between bin Laden and other high level al-Qaeda operatives, as well as extensive analysis of that correspondence. CTC’s introduction to the compilation notes that “captured battlefield documents have enormous value to students of terrorism” but also cautions that the document set is incomplete, and that further releases may necessitate new analysis. Even so, the volume constitutes a valuable addition to the public’s understanding of the structure and aims of al-Qaeda, as well as the scope and scale of the threat it poses.

The New York Times has posted the compilation here. It is available on the CTC site as well.