Osama planned 9/11 anniversary attack in US: report

Washington: Slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his operations head were plotting to attack the US on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 strikes, a media report has said.

Bin Laden was shot dead by US commandos during a surprise raid at his safe house in Pakistan`s garrison town of Abbottabad where he lived for the last five years.

"Bin Laden and his operations chief Attiyah Abd al-Rahman swapped views about the composition of the attack team, with bin Laden repeatedly rejecting names that Rahman suggested," the Wall Street Journal reported quoting officials familiar with the intelligence taken from bin Laden`s house.

It said the plan, according to US officials, were only in the discussion phase.

According to the Journal, in the days following the US raid, American officials said the materials seized from the compound showed enthusiasm for carrying out attacks on dates of symbolic significance, prompting them to worry about July 4 and September 11.

But officials didn`t disclose at that time that there had been specific planning for another attack on September 11 this year, the daily reported.

In a recent meeting, Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell told his staff that one of their top priorities would be to make sure that neither that plan nor any others were carried out.

However, the information obtained so far does not give any idea about the attack sites selected by bin Laden and or if people were ready for this purpose.

Some US officials cautioned that other materials in the trove showed bin Laden was often ignored by his underlings, the WSJ said.

"What we found was that he was very isolated, and it is clearly the case he was struggling to continue to hold on to the type of influence and to direct operations in ways he may have been able to do in the past," a US official was quoted as saying.

According to the daily, the information obtained from the treasure trove has not lead to any major arrest or killing mainly because the al-Qaeda leaders soon change their tactics and location.

For example, the two phone numbers that bin Laden had sewn into his clothing at the time he was killed didn`t provide actionable leads, the official said.

One connected to a public phone center in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The other turned out to be a dead end, it said.

Phone numbers retrieved from phones obtained at the bin Laden compound also led nowhere, the daily added.