OBL reportedly targeted Obama for 9/11/11 attack

The Marine One helicopter carrying President Obama takes off from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington July 1, 2011, for Camp David, Md.
AP Photo
The Marine One helicopter carrying President Obama takes off from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington July 1, 2011, for Camp David, Md. The Washington Monument is at left, and the Jefferson Memorial is at center.
The Marine One helicopter carrying President Obama takes off from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington July 1, 2011, for Camp David, Md.
AP Photo

Before Osama bin Laden died at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs in May, his terror wish list reportedly included attacking the United States on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and shooting down President Obama's helicopter or plane while the president was in the air.

A U.S. official confirmed to CBS News correspondent Bob Orr Friday that intelligence gathered during the May 2 raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan revealed that the al Qaeda head discussed with his operations planners a wide array of potential attacks against the U.S. and senior American officials.

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All of the discussions were determined by the U.S. government to be "aspirational," and there is no evidence to indicate that any ideas ever developed into an actual plot, Orr reports. The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that discussions among bin Laden and his deputies about the opaque 9/11 anniversary attack included which of al Qaeda's operatives should be involved.

ABC News reported Friday that those discussions included targeting Mr. Obama aboard Air Force One or Marine One and executing a similar airborne attack against Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan who was recently confirmed as the next director of the CIA.

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The revelations from the obtained intelligence emphasize that bin Laden remained fixated, years after al Qaeda hijacked American airliners to use as weapons, on aviation as a potential target or weapon, Orr reports. The U.S. official noted that the intelligence also shows that, despite bin Laden's isolation in his Abbottabad compound, he was still involved in planning operations and directing those plans.

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com