CIA Releases New Tranche of Materials Seized in 2011 Bin Laden Raid

An aerial view, released by the United State Department of Defense May 2, 2011, shows the compound (highlighted) that Osama bin Laden was killed in. Abbottabad, Pakistan. / Reuters
An aerial view shows the compound (highlighted) where Osama bin Laden was killed / Reuters
November 1, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A computer recovered in the 2011 U.S. special forces operation that killed Osama bin Laden contained a video collection that included kids' cartoons, several Hollywood movies, and three documentaries about himself.

The list of the videos was included in the release on Wednesday by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency of nearly 470,000 files found on the computer seized in the May 2, 2011, U.S. raid on the al Qaeda founder's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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.

Materials that still have not been released are being withheld because they could harm national security, are blank, corrupted or duplicate files, are pornographic, or are protected by copyright, said a CIA statement.

The copyright-protected materials include more than two dozen videos such as "Antz," "Cars," and other animated films, the role-playing game "Final Fantasy VII" and "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden," and two other documentaries about the al Qaeda leader, the CIA said.

"Today's release of recovered al Qaeda 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 Mike Pompeo. "CIA will continue to seek opportunities to share information with the American people consistent with our obligation to protect national security."

The materials released on Wednesday are posted online——in their original Arabic.

They include bin Laden's personal journal and 18,000 document files, about 79,000 audio and image files, and more than 10,000 video files, the CIA said.

The CIA said that the materials, like those released in the past, provide insights into the origins of the differences between al Qaeda and Islamic State, disagreements within al Qaeda and its allies, and the problems al Qaeda faced at the time of bin Laden's death.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Tom Brown)

Published under: Osama bin Laden