Statement Linked to al-Qaida Confirms Bin Laden Death; Seized Data Indicate Plot to Attack Trains

BY Tom LeGro  May 6, 2011 at 9:28 AM EDT

A statement posted on militant websites and attributed to al-Qaida appears to confirm the killing of Osama bin Laden and warned of retaliation, saying Americans’ “happiness will turn to sadness.”

The AP reports that the Internet statement the Associated Press reports. Counter-terrorism officials said they believe the plot was only in the initial planning stages.

The New York Times and Washington Post both report Thursday that the CIA had been surveying bin Laden’s residence from a rented house near the compound for months.

The Wall Street Journal reports that bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who helped bin Laden found al-Qaida and led its operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, “parted ways” six years ago.

A Pakistani intelligence official also told the Journal that bin Laden “had been sidelined because he no longer had the funds to support al Qaeda operations and that his popularity in the network was slipping.”

One of three wives living with bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistani, told interrogators she had been staying in the compound for six years without leaving its upper floors, a Pakistani intelligence official said Friday, according to the AP.

Yemeni-born Amal Ahmed Abdullfattah and the other two wives of bin Laden are being interrogated in Pakistan after they were taken into custody following the raid. Pakistani authorities are also holding eight or nine children who were found there.

The Washington Post has launched a multimedia presentation on the long-search for bin Laden, called “The Hunt.”

Pakistan’s army wants the United States to reduce its military footprint in that country, according to NPR. The decision is an apparent protest of the raid that killed bin Laden.

The administrations of former President George W. Bush and President Obama have reserved the right to act against terrorist targets, but Pakistan’s army said Thursday that “any similar action will warrant a review” of its cooperation with the United States, NPR reports.

Meantime, a suspected CIA drone strike targeted a Pakistani hotel Thursday in North Waziristan, killing eight people, according to Pakistani news reports.

U.S. officials believe the area is the headquarters of the Haqqani network, an Afghan insurgent force that has staged deadly bombings in Afghan cities and regularly attacks NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan, reports the Washington Post.