Jason Kottke draws attention to an article in The Atlantic, Inside Al-Qaeda's Hard Drive which is an intriguing account of the contents of a hard drive bought in Afghanistan by journalist Alan Cullison. The hard drive was stolen from al-Qaeda's central office in Kabul on November 12, the night before the city fell to the Northern Alliance prior to being sold on for $1,100.
This is a fascinating read, and allows a rare insight into the minds of AQ's movers and shakers.
The following is a quote from a correspondence to Mullah Omar from ObL.
Keep in mind that America is currently facing two contradictory problems:
a) If it refrains from responding to jihad operations, its prestige will collapse, thus forcing it to withdraw its troops abroad and restrict itself to U.S. internal affairs. This will transform it from a major power to a third-rate power, similar to Russia.
b) On the other hand, a campaign against Afghanistan will impose great long-term economic burdens, leading to further economic collapse, which will force America, God willing, to resort to the former Soviet Union's only option: withdrawal from Afghanistan, disintegration, and contraction.