In what they term an exclusive interview, radio station WTOP reveals that Osama’s Al-Qaeda didn’t think the U.S would retaliate to the extent it did:
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Osama bin Laden had no idea the U.S. would hit al-Qaida as hard as it has since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, a former bin Laden associate tells WTOP in an exclusive interview.
“I’m 100 percent sure they had no clue about what was going to happen,” says Noman Benotman, who was head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the summer of 2000. “What happened after the 11th of September was beyond their imagination, ” says Benotman, who adds that al-Qaida thought the U.S. was a “paper tiger.”
Sitting on the floor at bin Laden’s compound in Kandahar, Afghanistan during a meeting the summer before the attacks, Benotman shocked bin Laden and more than 200 other international jihadist leaders by telling the al-Qaida leader his jihadi strategy was “a total failure.”
Benotman, a highly regarded associate of bin Laden’s at the time, says he surprised him again by rebuffing a plea for help.