Letters from Osama bin Laden's last hideout show him worrying about mistakes made by his terror network and the need to regain the trust of potential Muslim supporters.

They also reveal he was plotting new attacks on the West right up until he was killed by US special forces last year.

Documents seized in last year's raid on bin Laden's Pakistan house were posted online yesterday by the US Army's Combating Terrorism Centre.

They show dark days for al Qaeda and its leader after years of attacks by the UK and US, and what bin Laden saw as bumbling within his own organisation and its terrorist allies.

"I plan to release a statement that we are starting a new phase to correct [the mistakes] we made," bin Laden wrote in 2010. "In doing so, we shall reclaim, God willing, the trust of a large segment of those who lost their trust in the jihadis."

Until the end, bin Laden remained focused on attacking Americans and coming up with plots to kill US leaders.

He wanted to target aircraft carrying General David Petraeus – who commanded international forces in Afghanistan – and even President Barack Obama, reasoning an assassination would elevate an "utterly unprepared" Vice-president Joe Biden into the top job.

However, a US analysts' report describes the al Qaeda leader as upset over the inability of associated terrorist groups to win public support for their cause, their unsuccessful media campaigns and poorly planned plots that, in his view, killed too many innocent Muslims.

An adviser, Adam Gadahn, urged bin Laden to disassociate himself from the acts of al Qaeda's spin-off operation in Iraq, known as AQI, and bin Laden told other terrorist groups not to repeat AQI's mistakes.

The correspondence includes letters by then-deputy leader Abu Yahya al Libi, criticising Pakistani offshoot Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan over its indiscriminate attacks on Muslims.

Al Libi said al Qaeda leaders would "take public measures unless we see you - dissociating yourself from these vile mistakes that violate Islamic law".

Bin Laden warned the leader of Yemeni AQAP, Nasir al Wuhayshi, against attempting a takeover of Yemen to establish an Islamic state, instead saying he should "refocus his efforts on attacking the United States".

He also seemed uninterested in recognising Somali-based al Shabab when the group pledged loyalty to him, because he thought its leaders were poor governors of the areas they controlled and were too strict with their administration of Islamic penalties – such as cutting off the hands of thieves.

The US said the letters reflect al Qaeda's relationship with Iran as "not one of alliance, but of indirect and unpleasant negotiations" over al Qaeda terrorists and their families who were imprisoned in the country.

Bin Laden described "trusted Pakistani brothers" but did not identify any Pakistani government or military officials who might have been aware or complicit in his hiding in Abbottabad.

It was not immediately clear how many of bin Laden's documents the US was still keeping secret. In a note published with the 175 pages in Arabic that were released along with English translations, retired General John Abizaid said they probably represented only a fraction of materials taken from the compound in the US raid that tracked down and killed bin Laden in May 2011. The US said the documents span September 2006 to April 2011.

The report said the Special Forces troops were trained to search bin Laden's home for thumb drives, printed documents and what it described as "pocket litter" that might prod-uce leads to other terrorists.

It claimed the personal files showed that, during one of the most significant manhunts in history, bin Laden was out of touch with the day-to-day operations of various terrorist groups inspired by al Qaeda.

He was "not in sync on the operational level with its so-called affiliates", researchers wrote. "Bin Laden enjoyed little control over so-called fellow travellers," they added.