Osama bin Laden was acutely aware of mistakes within al-Qaida that led to lost trust among Muslims after countless attacks form the terrorist network that killed civilians. One of his grandest plans was an assassination of President Barack Obama in an effort to thrust Vice President Joe Biden into the oval office — a job for which Biden was "utterly unprepared" for, according to bin Laden.
The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has published 17 declassified documents online that were seized during the 2011 raid on bin Laden's compound, during which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. troops.
The documents, which date from 2006 to 2011, offer a glimpse into a crumbling organization of which bin Laden knew he was losing control. He was determined to reform the al-Qaida name and focus efforts on attacking the United States.
"I plan to release a statement that we are starting a new phase to correct (the mistakes) we made," bin Laden wrote in 2010. "In doing so, we shall reclaim, God willing, the trust of a large segment of those who lost their trust in the jihadis."
Bin Laden hoped for an opportunity to target airplanes carrying General David Petraeus and President Obama.
"The groups will remain on the lookout for Obama or Petraeus. The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency for the remainder of the term, as it is the norm over there," bin Laden wrote. "Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis."
Bin Laden and his second-in-command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, scolded other terrorist offshoots that associated themselves as al-Qaida for their attacks on Muslim civilians. The documents included information about spin-off organizations like AQI in Iraq, al-Shabab in Somalia, and AQAP in the Arabian Peninsula.
In a letter to the terrorist group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, al-Libi "threatened to take public measures unless we see from you serious and immediate practical and clear steps towards reforming (your ways) and dissociating yourself from these vile mistakes that violate Islamic Law."
Another letter, with an unknown author, discusses possible name changes for al-Qaida, saying that name has allowed the U.S. to launch a war against al-Qaida without offending Muslims. The author suggests new names like Monotheism and Jihad Group, Muslim Unity Group, Islamic Nation Unification Party, or Al-Aqsa Liberation Group.
These documents are among the thousands recovered in the raid of his compound. It is unclear whether any others will be made public in the future.