Osama Prepared to Flee, Told Children in Will Not to Join Al Qaeda

As new details of the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden are revealed, the saga becomes increasingly fascinating. Here is the latest update of breaking news from the Abbottabad compound:

- bin Laden's four-page will, published in a Kuwaiti newspaper, apologizes to his 24 children for neglecting them throughout his life, and ordered his wives not to remarry but to devote their lives to raising their kids. He also beseeched them not to fight jihad, in a parallel with Islamic leader Omar bin al-Khattab, who instructed the same to his own son. His vast fortune is not mentioned.

- At the time of his death, he had 500 Euros and two telephone numbers sewn into his clothing, according to a classified briefing of Congress yesterday by CIA Director Leon Panetta. bin Laden apparently believed that he would receive notice prior to any US attack, indicating his total trust in his own networks. 'That view may also be buttressed by the White House’s revelation that bin Laden was not armed when he was killed in a Sunday raid by a Navy SEAL team,' writes Politico. 'That team was able to capture intelligence — including computers and thumb drives, and, apparently, the phone numbers bin Laden was carrying.'

-Death photograph: will they or won't they? While Leon Panetta has said that the White House will release bin Laden's photograph, Jake Tapper reports that the chances of that happening are slowly decreasing. As skepticism of his death in the Arab world is scant -- bin Laden's wife and daughter were present during the raid and identified the body, and the White House is concerned that releasing the photo willincrease backlash. Both Secretary Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates have apparently advised President Obama not to make the image public. "The only skeptics are extremists,' said a US Official, 'and they wouldn't be convinced by a photograph anyway. So the president has to weigh the potential negatives and they're huge, there's a tremendous risk of the photo becoming a rallying cry for attacks against US soldiers, government personnel, and Americans in general."

UPDATE:President Obama will not release the photos,

-Culture bonus: WWD has interviewed several photo and art directors regarding the now-infamous Situation Room shot from the evening of May 1, each discussing the merit and historical significance of the photograph.

Stay tuned for ongoing updates.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at May 4, 2011, 5:12am

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