The CIA has released hundreds of thousands more documents that were seized in the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in Pakistan.
There are nearly 470,000 new documents on the CIA’s website, including Bin Laden’s journal, personal videos of his son Hamza bin Laden’s wedding, Bin Laden family photographs and written insights into al Qaeda’s leadership.
There were also documents about the Illuminiti, the viral “Charlie Bit My Finger” video, and pirated video games and anime.
Other movies on Bin Laden’s hard drive included “Tom and Jerry,” “The Pink Panther,” “Sex Crimes and the Vatican” and the viral YouTube video “Charlie Bit My Finger.”
Gizmodo listed several others, including:
As of publication time, the new files were temporarily unavailable to due to a “technical issue,” the CIA said on its website. However, the previously released Abbottabad documents are archived online as “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf” on the Director of National Intelligence’s site.
Notably, one of the new documents contains insight into al Qaeda’s relationship with Iran.
According to The Hill:
A document purportedly written by a senior member of al Qaeda details an arrangement between Iran and members of al Qaeda to strike American interests in “Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.” In exchange, Iran offered al Qaeda “money, arms” and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon.”
The author of the file, described as “well-connected,” explains that al Qaeda’s forces violated the terms of the agreement of the deal with Iran, resulting in several men being detained.
But the senior al Qaeda member also notes that the organization is not at war with Iran due to their shared anti-American interests.
The CIA said in its press release:
“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.”
The material contains audio, document, image, video and software operating system files. The material is posted in the original Arabic and in as close to the original form as possible, modified only so the files cannot be edited. Among other things, this release includes:
- Usama Bin Ladin’s personal journal and more than 18,000 document files.
- Approximately 79,000 audio and image files, which include practice reels for public speeches, audio correspondence, and imagery gathered or generated by al-Qa‘ida for a variety of purposes.
- More than 10,000 video files, which include a video of Hamza Bin Ladin as a young adult, al-Qa‘ida “home videos,” draft videos or statements by Usama Bin Ladin, and jihadist propaganda.
These materials, like those in previous releases, provide insights into the origins of fissures that exist today between al-Qa‘ida and ISIS; as well as strategic, doctrinal and religious disagreements within al-Qa‘ida and its allies; and hardships that al-Qa‘ida faced at the time of Bin Ladin’s death. Other themes in the materials include:
Al-Qa‘ida’s preparations to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and the group’s attempts to promulgate its message through Western media.
Al-Qa‘ida’s efforts to exploit the Arab Awakening for its benefit and that of the global jihad.
Bin Ladin’s efforts to maintain unity within the group and among its affiliates, despite disagreements over tactics and doctrine.
Al-Qa‘ida’s efforts to rehabilitate its tarnished image among Muslims due its mistakes and negative media portrayals.
Business Insider reported:
Included in the CIA release are scans of Bin Laden’s personal journal, videos, audio files, his correspondence, and hundreds of other documents almost exclusively in Arabic, which have been revealed an attempt to “provide material relevant to understanding the plans and workings of terrorist organizations.”