The Bin Laden Papers How the Abbottabad Raid revealed the Truth about al-Qaeda, its Leader and his Family Nelly Lahoud

Publication date:
12 Apr 2022
Yale University Press
320 pages: 235 x 156mm
2 b-w illus. + 2 maps

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An inside look at al-Qaeda from 9/11 to the assassination of its founder—told through the words of Bin Laden and his closest circle

Usama Bin Laden’s greatest fear was not capture or death, but the exposure of al-Qaeda’s secrets. At great risk to themselves and the entire mission, the U.S. Special Operations Forces, who carried out the Abbottabad raid that killed Bin Laden, took an additional eighteen minutes to collect Bin Laden’s hard drives and thereby expose al-Qaeda’s secrets.
In this ground-breaking book, Nelly Lahoud dives into Bin Laden’s files and meticulously distills the nearly 6,000 pages of Arabic private communications. For the first time, al-Qaeda’s closely guarded secrets are laid bare, shattering misconceptions and revealing how and what Bin Laden communicated with his associates, his plans for future attacks, and al-Qaeda’s hostility toward countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. Lahoud presents firsthand accounts of al-Qaeda from 9/11 until the elimination of Bin Laden, as told through his own words and those of his family and closest associates.

Nelly Lahoud is a senior fellow in New America’s International Security program. She was the lead author of the report on the first batch of declassified Abbottabad documents and is the author of three books, including The Jihadis' Path to Self-Destruction.