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Bin Laden’s Files and the Al Qaeda Threat

6:00 AM, Apr 11, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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(5)  What do the documents say about al Qaeda’s ties to the Taliban, and role inside Afghanistan? The Guardian has reported that some of the documents recovered in bin Laden’s compound “show a close working relationship between top al Qaeda leaders and Mullah Omar, the overall commander of the Taliban, including frequent discussions of joint operations against NATO forces in Afghanistan, the Afghan government, and targets in Pakistan.” Both Osama bin Laden and his replacement, Ayman al Zawahiri, were involved in coordinating attacks with the Taliban. However, the documents showing tight collusion between the Taliban and al Qaeda were not released to the public. Why?

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has previously detailed how the contents of bin Laden’s documents were spun to paint a politically convenient picture of the threats America faces. The administration has tried to use the documents to advance its claim that al Qaeda is “on the path to defeat.

These basic questions are a good starting point for exploring the true contents of bin Laden’s files. If the administration is right about al Qaeda’s declining fortunes, then it should have no problem releasing the contents of bin Laden’s archive.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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