In a letter written a year before his death, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden ordered his men not to target Joe Biden in hopes the then-vice president would become president and lead the U.S. into “crisis.”
Biden is now president, and, with the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, al-Qaida appears to have regained the haven they used to plan and carry out the Sept. 11 attacks.
Bin Laden told al-Qaida in the May 2010 letter — which resurfaced this week amid heavy criticism of Biden’s handling of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — they should try to kill then-President Barack Obama but lay off Biden, whom he called “totally unprepared” to take over as commander in chief.
In addition to Obama, bin Laden also directed his followers to prioritize attacks on then-CIA director David Petraeus.
- “The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency for the remainder of the term, as it is the norm over there.”
Biden’s critics might argue recent events have proven Bin Laden’s abysmal assessment of the president painfully accurate.
- Americans attempting to flee Afghanistan have reportedly been beaten by Taliban militants, billions of dollars of U.S. weapons have been fallen into Taliban hands and a refugee crisis percolates.
- Biden and his supporters have argued the crisis was inevitable, even though the president previously promised an orderly withdrawal and failed to foresee the Afghan government’s rapid fall.
Public furor over Biden’s handling of the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has been reflected in recent polling.
- A plurality of Americans, 44%, believe the Afghanistan withdrawal is going “very badly,” according to a YouGov/CBS News Poll.
- Fifty-three percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of the crisis.
- Biden’s overall job rating has plummeted in recent months, from 62% in March to 50% now.