Osama bin Laden Not Such A Bad Guy Afterall?
A few months before Osama bin Laden’s death, Web sites linked to al-Qaeda ran excited commentary about a proposed new killing machine dubbed the “human lawn mower.” The idea was to attach rotating blades to the front of a pickup truck and drive the contraption into crowds.
While some jihadists admired the idea, one graying veteran of the terrorist movement took a stand against it. That was bin Laden himself, by then living out his twilight years in a Pakistani villa with ample time to think about his legacy. The man who famously ordered jetliners flown into skyscrapers drew the line at cutting down humans like weeds.
“He was upset about it,” said a former U.S. intelligence official who viewed bin Laden’s writings on the subject, part of a trove of documents seized from the terrorist’s compound in Pakistan a year ago this week. “He felt it conflicted with his vision for what he wanted al-Qaeda to be.”