Bin Laden was a "cranky old uncle" by the end.

Well I’ll be. Bush was right, the guy was marginalized, even amongst Al Qaeda.

Contradicting assertions of some U.S. officials that bin Laden was running a “command and control” center from the walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, officials say he clearly wasn’t in control of al-Qaida, although he was trying to remain involved or at least influential.

“He was like the cranky, old uncle that people weren’t listening to,” said a U.S. official who had been briefed on the evidence collected from the Abbottabad compound and who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “The younger guys had never worked directly with him. They did not take everything he said as right.”

Makes sense, though. If you’re a plucky, young upstart in Al Qaeda, the last thing you want to do is align yourself with the guy that the entire world is watching closely.

On the other hand, it leaves you wondering just how much of a “treasure trove” bin Laden’s computer really was if he was detached from the group.



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