An aerial view, released by the United State Department of Defense, shows the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed. Reuters, Department Of Defense
More than six years after Navy SEALs raided Osama Bin Laden’s secret hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed the former al-Qaida leader in the decade’s most high-profile U.S. military missions, the Central Intelligence Agency released another trove of documents and media seized from the infamous compound during the mission.
“Today’s release of recovered al-Qaida 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. “(The) CIA will continue to seek opportunities to share information with the American people consistent with our obligation to protect national security."
The newly unsealed material includes Bin Laden’s personal journal in which he reportedly wrote on the day of his death, some documents and a massive media library that offers a unique glimpse inside his viewing habits.
For instance, the man who was once the FBI’s top most-wanted criminal, apparently had a collection of Western movies — including “Antz,” “Chicken Little,” “Cars,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” “Home on the Range,” “Resident Evil,” “The Three Musketeers” and some Jackie Chan movies.
The movie selection falls in line with the fact Bin Laden had been living in the compound with his family, which included young kids. It also seemed he was homeschooling the children and teaching them English through these movies.
It appears either Bin Laden or someone else in his compound was a huge fan of bizarre erotic Japanese video games and anime because, as Gizmodo pointed out, the computers contained at least a dozen episodes of an anime series based on a boy detective solving crimes.
The al-Qaida terrorist’s video library also contained some serious documentaries, like “World’s Worst Venom,” “Inside the Green Berets,” “Predators at War,” “The Kremlin from Inside,” “Kung Fu Killers” and (ironically) “Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden,” along with the viral YouTube video “Charlie Bit My Finger” and cartoons like “Tom And Jerry.”
U.S. officials also found numerous instructional videos on crocheting baskets, baby socks and beanie caps, among other things. There were also a few PDF files about Illuminati conspiracy theories and the video from the wedding of Bin Laden’s son.
As expected, the release also includes jihadist propaganda and draft videos and statements.
Meanwhile, the CIA-hosted archive excluded the pornographic material recovered from the compound.
“When you study terrorist groups, that’s always what’s striking to people, the kind of quirky, human side of them,” Daniel Byman, a senior associate dean at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Washington Post. “Their whole life is not spent plotting around the campfire saying, ‘How do we infiltrate America’s defense?’ They’ll have lots of pornography, like men all over the world. A lot of the documents are complaining about bureaucracies. What’s wrong with the fax machine. They’re involved in the same sort of organizational problems of bureaucracies that we all have. In some cases, a lot worse.”