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Bin Laden letters describe Shabaab contacts

2012-05-04 11:22

Nairobi - Newly released documents show that Osama bin Laden didn't want the Somali militant group al-Shabaab to publicly announce a merger with al-Qaeda so as not to bring extra attention from "enemies."

Despite that view, the two militant groups announced a merger in February.

Bin Laden said in a letter to al-Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr that the world would eventually find out about al-Qaeda's unification with al-Shabaab, but that if the merger was made public enemies would mobilise against the Somali militant group.

The letter was discovered by US forces who raided bin Laden's home in Pakistan last year, killing him. It was released on Thursday.

In February al-Qaeda's new leader Ayman al-Zawahri released a video in which he gave "glad tidings" that al-Shabaab had joined al-Qaeda.