The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has released 17 of the documents retrieved from the compound in Abbottabad where Osama bin Laden was killed. In addition to English translations and the original Arabic versions — posted online today at 9:00 AM EST — the CTC has issued a short report contextualizing the documents.
See: Last Year at Abbottabad.
While you’re at the CTC site scan their other publications. Good stuff.
Many HLSWatch readers will also be interested in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs staff report on the radicalization of Zac Chesser. Please access: A Case Study in Online Islamist Radicalization and Its Meaning for the Threat of Homegrown Terrorism.
In July 2010 I posted a piece entitled: Could you or I have talked Zac Chesser out of violent extremism? Arnold Bogis (not yet a fellow poster) and I had a quick exchange on the question. In the Senate report there is a tantalizing reference to Chesser almost being talked back from the edge.
Each set of resources offers fascinating insights into terrorist realities.
I recently discovered a cache of letters I had written (rough drafts) and received (in reply) from the early 1980s. I came away wondering about the vagaries of memory and the often fluid nature of what purports to be real.
It’s a tad intimidating to think how these posts and comments may be read thirty years from now. If we’re lucky these bytes may prove even more fragile than the thin airmail paper I found in a long forgotten file. Based on all three examples, humility ages more gracefully than its opposite.