Bin Laden with a heart.
Excerpts from documents apparently seized from the Saudi-born jihadi's residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed by US special forces in May 2011, suggest a man somewhat different from the stereotype of a pitiless terrorist leader.
They show someone willing to forsake an Islamic state in Egypt -- surely one of his cherished aims -- if the price was the welfare of the population.
In one of the 17 documents released by the US-based Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), Bin Laden cites the challenges facing Egypt's would-be Islamist rulers.
"Before building a Muslim state, the Islamic Group [Gamaa Islameya] could have thought about food security for the Egyptian people," it is claimed Bin Laden wrote in one memo, referring to the Islamist organisation involved in the assassination of former president Anwar Al-Sadat on 6 October 1981.
The group had the stated aim of establishing an Islamic state in Egypt and planned to seize control of government buildings, institutions and media outlets. But the Al-Qaeda leader claims their plans overlooked vital issues related to Egypt's economy and food supply.
[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for full original text]