Nightly News | May 03, 2012
>> last night on our "rock center" broadcast, we aired for the first time anywhere, the behind the scenes record what it was like for the government officials we saw in the photo from one year ago. the night osama bin laden was killed by u.s. special forces . from the president on down, they talked with us about the risks and the tension in the broadcast which by the way we're riaring tonight on nsnbc, and we learned more about what bin laden was up to in his final months and days in the compound in abbottabad. we report on the new documents discovered after his death and just released today.
>> holed up in his compound, huddled against the cold, osama bin laden looked a far cry from america's most wanted terrorists. the documents seized in the raid revealed he was still intent on killing americans . he had ordered al qaeda to assassinate obama or petraeuss. kill obama or petraeus, not biden, gates, or mullan. but tonight, terrorism experts say al qaeda was imcapable of that plot.
>> he had a vision for al qaeda .
>> but relentless air strikes by u.s. predator drone s had taken out most of their leaders. in the documents, bin laden was alarmed at how al qaeda affiliates in places like iraq and yemen were killing more muslims than foreigners. and all of a sudden, people start to say, excuse me, we hate the americans and we still do. but we don't see you guys as a solution either because all you do is kill us.
>> bin laden wrote, focus on the desired goal, killing americans . the affiliates ignored bin laden 's orders.
>> so damaged is al qaeda 's image, that bein laden considered changing his name.
>> they were focused on he could igni ignite. incite people who have not yet resoelted to rebel against their rulers.
>> hillary clinton told them while bin laden is gone, the threat from al qaeda lives on.
>> yes, there is still a lot of danger out there, but i believe we're making progress. it's not just about killing the messenger. you have to take on the message.
>> the 175 pages of documents released today were carefully selected to put the worst possible face on al qaeda . and avoid the accidental release of potentially damaging secrets, but u.s. officials tell us there are as many as 15,000 of these documents so there's a lot they're not telling us.