From the Times Online, :
NEW evidence of Osama Bin Laden’s attempts to acquire radioactive material for a “dirty bomb” has been revealed by an aide to the Al-Qaeda leader.
In a book to be published shortly, the insider shows that Bin Laden bowed to pressure from hawks within the terror group’s leadership to buy the material through supporters in Chechnya. He had initially been cautious about such a dramatic increase in its armoury.
It is the first time that such a senior Al-Qaeda figure has revealed the internal tensions and debates within the group, and shows it was far less unified than had been thought.
During the American bombardment of Tora Bora in Afghanistan where the leadership had fled in 2001, the book says, Al-Qaeda was hopelessly split and faith in Bin Laden declined. Bin Laden had also fallen out with Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader.
Excerpts from the book appeared last week in a London-based Arabic newspaper and are believed to have been written by Abu Walid al-Misri, an Egyptian who spent years in Afghanistan where his son was killed fighting the Russians.
Misri, who was with Bin Laden in Tora Bora, is thought to be one of Al-Qaeda’s leading theorists. When they fled Afghanistan, his book records, the organisation had been devastated by the death of Mohammed Atef, its military commander, killed by American bombing near Kandahar….
Misri also criticises the growth in Al-Qaeda training camps, saying many of them were compromised by spies and that they lacked discipline. “The last months in the life of Al-Qaeda (in Afghanistan) were a tragic example of an Islamic movement being run in a terrible way,” he says.