I have just read an interesting article in the Guardian, which has provoked me into writing what I expect will be my very last post on the subject of Osama bin Laden. It seems that the US authorities going through the “vast haul” of documents and data they found at Osama’s Abbotabad residence are now starting to develop doubts that a lot of this material was ever distributed to anyone. It seems that Osama may have whiled away the time writing lengthy memos to himself and hatching all kinds of schemes and plans that never actually got passed the front door of his own house. It seems that Osama was also becoming increasingly frustrated by his own isolation and by the degree to which he had become marginalised within the jihadi movement he had set out to lead.
In my earlier posts I pointed out that it would have been simply impossible for Osama to control the farflung jihadi movement by relying only on couriers. In the twenty first century it is impossible to control a global movement by relying on communications methods better suited to the eighteenth century.
To all intents and purposes in the last years of his life Osama was a prisoner of the Pakistanis. For a man accustomed to an active and outdoor life the strain must have been almost unendurable. I would not be surprised if the arrival of the Americans came as a relief.