National Intelligence Director Releases ‘Bin Laden’s Bookshelf’

Favorites include Chomsky, computer game manuals

Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden / Wikimedia Commons

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released the first list of English-language reading materials secured during the 2011 raid on the Osama bin Laden compound Wednesday.

The list of 103 articles, books, and software given in advance to Buzzfeed includes works from authors such as anarcho-syndicalist advocate Noam Chomsky, 9/11 conspiracy theorist David Ray Griffin and American reporter Bob Woodward.

"In terms of the materials that are there, some of the things that we’ve found to be of note were that Bin Laden was probably an avid conspiracy theorist," a senior intelligence official said in a phone call. "Of the 38 full length English-language books he had in his possession, about half of them were conspiracy theory books" about the Illuminati, the Freemasons, and other conspiracy topics.

Other titles in the list include literature from violent extremists, materials regarding France, and articles from Businessweek, Popular Science, and U.S. News and World Report.

"U.S. Intelligence Community analysts believe Osama bin Ladin’s English-language proficiency was more than sufficient to read and comprehend these documents, and other open sources suggest the same," National Intelligence spokesman Jeffrey Anchukaitis said.

"The vast majority of the PDFs were months to years’ worth of digitized or scanned issues–a page at a time–of (Arabic-language) al-Hayat and al-Quds al-Arabi newspapers," another senior intelligence official who analyzed the list and is not authorized to speak on the record said in an email. "The ‘Bookshelf’ are all of the English-language PDF files we found except duplicate files and about a dozen weapons and bomb-making manuals that we will not release due to the nature of their contents."

One of the titles found was a walk-through guide for the first-person shooter video game "Delta Force Xtreme 2.The main objective of the game is to use tactical methods to find and eliminate terrorist arms dealers.

Published under: Osama bin Laden