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In his notebook, bin Laden answers a question about who would list as a religious influence: “I was committed with the Muslim Brotherhood. Their resources were limited. I read Sira (prophet’s biography). Meeting once a week, a set of pages. Religious influence wasn’t much.”
... “Were you not influenced Zindani and the Scientific Miracles of Quran? I was influenced by him in his speciality, not by him as a teacher.”
In this section, he asks himself questions and then answer them.
“Q: When was the first time you thought of Jihad? At what stage of your life?
A: it was in high school, or before that I don’t remember.”
“Q: when did you start engaging in Jihad or toward commitment?
A: i was driven by the general atmosphere, as everyone else (at home, in school, street, [not legible]. It wasn’t one thing. I was taken care by family, but no side guided me, as the Brotherhood do. I was normal.”
Not sure about this, but on Page 8 he says the first time he travelled for Jihad was in 1976, to Turkey to “the party of Erbekan”, he carried a pistols, was the first time he travelled on his own, complains he went by bus for 12hrs & had to cross through Syria to Antakya! Help
On his contact with the West, he said the first time he travelled to the West was for holidays when he at 6th grade, he was 23 years old. The following hear he went to study there in the summer for 2.5 months ...
... “the following year, I learned that it was not permissible to travel (to the West) & became aware that a committed Muslim shouldn’t go to western countries & I refused to go.”
[during his time in the UK], “I had the impression that they were morally decadent & my age didn’t allow me to have a full picture of life there. We visited the home of Shakespeare. We were impressed. It was a different society & it was morally decadent.”
In May 2011, bin Laden had seemingly low hopes a full-fledged uprising would take place in Syria but he was confident it’d get there gradually down the line, especially when other uprisings would succeed. “The flood is coming”
Page 30: “what’s important is that Yemen is known to be al Qaeda, and it’s the center of the region.”
“Q: If an Islamic State is established, would the Mujahideen be part of it?

OBL: “We can’t be part of a State unless it has the power to stand up to Israel or eradicate it.”
From his own notebook, Osama bin Laden demonstrates interest in familiar elements of radical extremism, like obsession with Sira and Islamic eschatology (pages 7 and 31-32)
OBL relates a dream he had & an interrelation of it. He saw himself on the borders of a city, climate is like Asir mountains. Prince Nayef, dressed in military uniform, came but wasn’t to fight but to visit acquaintance, as if he knew us as friends fighting commies...
... as he approached us, I asked someone to call in Abu al-Farag, who came after a while. The prince was sitting, and said: do you have a place for me to change my clothes & shoes because they’re tight? I asked Abu al-Farag to take him a safe house to rest...
... OBL then said he thought the dream meant that “things will be settled peacefully, and the right shoes that he wanted to remove meant their kingdom would be removed. And God knows best.”
Q: what’s our interest in the fall of Bahrain?

OBL: “the fall of all regimes is in the interest of the Ummah. Bahrain is easy to bring down, and its fall means the Islamists will rule.”
The coming one is big...

Q: How do you see Hizb al-Ummah al-Islami (the Saudi)

OBL: “we haven’t seen known names. What they say is good and is much better than Saad (al-Faqih). He says things close to what we say.. but there is a need for a Dave with credibility & acceptability.”
... “there are perhaps faces/figures that have credibility but in the country they are not allowed to speak. They need large numbers, because large numbers boost confidence & compensate for the lack of known & trusted faces.” 2/2
Another big one:

“Qaradawi, if he talks, that’ll help and boost popular confidence that the (Libyan) rebels are right. Qaradawi’s shift = Qaddafi is over.

“Al Jazeera, thank God, carries the banner of revolutions.”
“It’s important for Jordan to fall before Saudi Arabia; Iraq is heating up the situation in Jordan.”
(Off now, stay tuned. I'll keep updating this as I read these gems)
HERE is my write-up of what we've learned so far from the bin Laden diary. More elaboration on interesting tidbits mentioned above, including better translation: thenational.ae/world/the-amer…
Echoing a theme in ISIS internal & public discourse, OBL cites a US official’s “any country or president that partakes in a war against an Islamic country is crazy.” He then says: a very dangerous statement from a Secretary of State due to what they’ve suffered of exhaustion.
OBL in his journal later on: “Syria is the biggest surprise, and I was expecting the Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) was more ready.”
Bin Laden opposed a full-fledged uprising in Jordan. Instead, he wanted an Islamist govt that provides support as a first step: “Jordan shouldn’t rise up all at once, except after forming a popular govt that includes Islamists which will then be able to (eligible) & support.”
“If Jordan is liberated, it’ll be easier to put pressure on Syria. A ruler will be scared not just domestically but also from neighboring countries.”
The journal shows that Bin Laden’s focus is Saudi Arabia, even as he speaks about Jordan & Yemen & Bahrain & Egypt: “Egypt is a pivotal country. If ruled by an Islamist, that’ll put pressure on the whole region, and on the Land of the Two Holy Mosques too.”
In more than one occasion, he advises those in Libya “not to rush it”

“Egypt, when it stabilizes & meets the wishes of the people, its stance will become positive toward the revolutions. Qatar will find support in the largest country, namely Egypt, & with them will be Tunisia & Libya. That’ll be a significant weight.”
“The kings of Morocco & Jordan will get it because they’re young. Old age corrupts the mind. Abdullah bin Abdelaziz won’t get it. Everyone, however bad they are, is offering concessions. Al Saud haven’t made any, as if people only want money.”
“Will the fall of Maliki unify Iraq?”

“Possible. But after the fall of Saudi Arabia & with the support of the Sunni current, Iraq will remain unified.”
Bin Laden says 9/11 affectdd the way the US conducted itself in the Middle East: “Obama is embarrassed, he can’t take any stance against Yemen or Bahrain so he put France in the front seat. If these events took place before 9/11, they’d‘ve backed Bin Ali, Mubarak & Qaddafi.”
“The fall of Saudi Arabia means the fall of all the Gulf states one after the other, all the Gulf states have movements except Qatar.”
“In Syria, the situation & protests continue. The president within two days will announce important decisions that will please the Syrian people. It’s clear his position is very awkward & it’s rational to resign. The situation got more awkward with the Turkish involvement...
... Erdogan called twice over the past days, and he’s regarded as part of the Muslim Brotherhood current, and his call is extremely important & critical.”
After reviewing Syria and Libya agenda, he concludes: “so things are moving steadily toward reforms.”
On March 30, bin Laden is “disappointed” at the first speech given by Bashar al-Assad: “In a nutshell, it didn’t recognize the problem. He said protesters were either conspirators or misguided.”
Bin Laden relates a dream that ends with the arrival of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He interprets the dream as either a breakthrough would happen in Rajab (Islamic month + the president’s first name); or that the president would do something *good* (as his middle name suggests)
Bin Laden then writes that he now has high hopes for Libya especially after multiple positive dreams from others like Ahmed and Amer. Based on this, he says that Al Qaeda has to draft a statement asking “the pious” to form a committee to manage developments.
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