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Osama bin Laden worried wife had tracking device in filling

Al-Qaeda’s leaders were increasingly worried about spies in their midst, drones in the air and secret tracking devices reporting their movements

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Al-Qaeda’s leaders were increasingly worried about spies in their midst, drones in the air and secret tracking devices reporting their movements, documents seized in the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout reveal.

Translated and declassified by U.S. intelligence agencies, the cache of 113 documents are mostly dated between 2009 and 2011, according to intelligence officials.

The documents — the second tranche from the raid to have been declassified since May 2015 — depict an al-Qaeda that was unwavering in its commitment to violence, but with its core leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan under pressure on multiple fronts.

In one of the documents, bin Laden expresses alarm over his wife’s visit to a dentist while in Iran, worrying that a tracking chip could have been implanted with her dental filling.

“The size of the chip is about the length of a grain of wheat and the width of a fine piece of vermicelli,” he wrote using the pseudonym Abu Abdallah.

The letter ended with this instruction: “Please destroy this letter after reading it.”

In a May 11, 2010, letter to his then second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al Rahman, bin Laden urged caution in arranging an interview with Al Jazeera journalist Ahmad Zaidan, asserting that the United States could be tracking his movements through devices implanted in his equipment, or by satellite.