Home » World News » Osama bin Laden raid: CIA releases thousands of seized files

Osama bin Laden raid: CIA releases thousands of seized files

News Agencies | Updated on: 2 November 2017, 9:37 IST

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on 2 November released a vast archive of intimate Al-Qaeda documents, including Osama bin Laden's handwritten diary, seized in the deadly 2011 raid on his Pakistani compound.

The CNN news quoted CIA Director Mike Pompeo as saying that the release "provides the opportunity for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of this terrorist organization."

According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Long War Journal, the release also contains other important items, including what it determined are the first-known adult images of Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden and documents about al Qaeda's relationship with Iran and its role in the Iraqi insurgency.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been pushing for the full release of the CIA's documents from the raid for months. In March, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said the release of the documents was essential.

"Those documents need to get out, especially as you see the growth of al Qaeda and ISIS," Nunes said in March, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). "Those documents need to get out for historians to have those records so that we can begin to build a history of what al Qaeda was, what it is today, what they were thinking at the time."

There are still materials that have not yet been released. The CIA said that this includes materials that are sensitive to national security - those protected by copyright; pornography; malware; and blank, corrupted and duplicate files.

Not all the material, however, was of a serious nature. There was a video known as "Charlie bit my finger!" depicting a boy and his baby brother who bit his finger. There also were YouTube videos about crochet, including "How to Crochet a Flower."

And bin Laden's video collection included "Antz," a 1990s animated adventure comedy about an ant colony, "Chicken Little" and "The Three Musketeers." Also in the collection were "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden" and several National Geographic programs: "Kung Fu Killers," ''Inside the Green Berets" and "World's Worst Venom."

It is the fourth tranche of materials taken from the walled compound where bin Laden and his family lived to be made public by the U.S. government since May 2015. 


First published: 2 November 2017, 9:37 IST