After September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden expected to be killed. He expected his life would end and that he'd be a victim of treason and betrayal of those near him. Bin Laden devised his will on December 14, 2001, saved the document on a hard drive and marked the document secret and classified. December 14, 2001, the date bin Laden drafted and signed his will, is also the date the the Pakistani government declared Osama Bin Laden was killed in a US air strike.
Osama bin Laden's will is not a list of worldy goods bequeathed to family. It is, primarily, three wishes for his wives, children and followers. Bin Laden’s will was reprinted today by an Arabic newspaper Al-Anbaa out of Kuwait. The newspaper did not relay how it came across bin Laden’s last will and testament. The document relays bin Laden’s written expression of love for Jihad and his sadness at the possibility of his death despite God’s will. Bin Laden's will resignes himself as a martyr and righteous servant, three months after the 9/11 terrorists attacks and after admitting to the terrorist attacks and murders in Nairobi. Bin Laden’s will confesses an eerie love and appreciation of death and reads similar to demented last words of dark and disturbed high school shooters that are motivated by the death, blood, pain and suffering of perceived enemies.
Bin Laden's will states that for him, watching the massacre in New York City was akin to watching an entertaining film. Bin Laden's will derides humans for being afraid of death. This, despite thwarting his own death for a nearly a decade after George W. Bush marked Bin Laden as "Wanted: Dead or Alive."
Osama bin Laden's will asks his wives not to remarry. Instead, he urges his wives (the number of wives he had at the time and the names of his wives Osama Bin Laden did not write in the document) to seek comfort in God, to make sacrifices for their children and pray for good to befall their children. Bin Laden asks his children to forgive him because he spent so little time with them in favor of his jihad mission. Bin Laden then asks his children not to engage in the fight with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda that kept him engaged. Bin Laden stated his path was "dangerous and filled with treason, hardships, and drawbacks." He urges his children not to work at the base or the “global front to fight the Jews and the Christians” with Al-Qaeda. Yet, he asks his followers, the Mujahideen, to continue to develop terrorist cells.
Presumably, Osama Bin Laden was under incredible stress at the time he wrote his last will and testimony in December of 2001. His will reads very much like the persona that the global public met almost ten years ago: an eccentric, unreasonable person. A leader of an undefinable and intangible idea with a long graying beard and bland robes who chose poverty and hardship over materialism and wealth. A person whose voice, mellifluous and convincing, despite its schizophrenia, leaked hatred for western democracy, moral depravity, and a vainglorious, self-appointed mission in the name of God to kill westerners without remorse.
“Praise be to God,” bin Laden wrote in the introduction to his will. He called for prayer and peace to the “Messenger of God” and his family and companions. And he asked for forgiveness for those who sought refuge with him from the “evils of ourselves.” Bin Laden wrote in hopes that "will of his works" also described in translation as the “evils of his work” are “guided by Allah” and are not misled. He also wrote in prayer that those who are guiding not be misled.
In the four months leading to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden at the behest of U.S. President Barack Obama, Arabic nations, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt all underwent revolts toward democracy. Each revolt signaled the end of a reign of fear of the Taliban and the fear of misguided Muslim Jihads against democratic ideologies. The death of Osama Bin Laden has yet to be defined in context of the larger quest for Arab democracy. Because Bin Laden's will uncovered by the Kuwaiti news organization reveals a Bin Laden of almost a decade ago, undoubtedly there is search and effort underway by followers and detractors of Bin Laden to uncover whether or not, in his decade of hiding, Bin Laden had come to write from a higher place of understanding and possibly remorse about his role as a terrorist and igniter of global terror over the past two decades.