David Ignatius’s March 18 Sunday Opinion column cited documents found in Osama bin Laden’s compound that purportedly reveal a “plot” to kill President Obama or Gen. David H. Petraeus by downing an aircraft. Mr. Ignatius called that a “chilling reminder” of bin Laden’s deadly ambitions, but it reveals not a plot but a pathetic hope.
The sum of the scheme was apparently a “rambling” 48-page letter from bin Laden to an associate (also since killed). It was full of suggestions that seemingly came to naught. Mr. Ignatius acknowledged that al-Qaeda probably lacks the weapons to shoot down aircraft. Instead of the “terrorist CEO” that Mr. Ignatius imagined, bin Laden appeared to have had little power and few subordinates.