The Central Intelligence Agency released hundreds of thousands of documents on Wednesday found in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan compound on the night he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in 2011.
According to a press release from the Agency, they were released by CIA Director Mike Pompeo who “authorized the release in the interest of transparency and to enhance public understanding of al-Qa‘ida and its former leader.”
The files provide a rare glimpse for the public into the mind and personal life of America’s most notorious former terrorist enemy. Most of the files, such as bin Laden’s personal journal, remain in their original Arabic. In addition to what one would expect from the head of an international terrorist organization—jihadist propaganda, speeches, and other instructional materials for Al Qaeda—there were also some surprising files.
Bin Laden was apparently collecting a number of children’s movies, pornographic films, western documentaries, and even viral videos. Some noteworthy titles include “National Geographic: Inside the Green Berets,” “Antz,” “Cars,” and three documentaries about himself. Bin Laden’s porn stash has long been a subject of debate and intense speculation, with many calls for the CIA to release it. However, the CIA has still withheld their release.
“The information remaining in the Abbottabad collection that has not been released publicly includes materials that are sensitive such that their release would directly damage efforts to keep the nation secure.” The statement reads.
“Today’s release of recovered al-Qa‘ida letters, videos, audio files and other materials provides the opportunity for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of this terrorist organization,” said CIA Director Pompeo. “CIA will continue to seek opportunities to share information with the American people consistent with our obligation to protect national security.”
Take a look at the files in their entirety here.
Image courtesy of the Department of Defense
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