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

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
Policemen stand guard near the partially demolished compound where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces, in Abbottabad, February 2012. (Reuters/Faisal Mahmood/Files)

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 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- Qaida 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 obscene or are protected by copyright, said a CIA statement.

The copyright-protected materials include more than two dozen videos and “Where in the World is Osama bin Laden” and two other documentaries about the al-Qaida leader, the CIA said.

“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. “CIA will continue to seek opportunities to share information with the American people consistent with our obligation to protect national security.”

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-Qaida and Islamic State, disagreements within al-Qaida and its allies, and the problems al-Qaida faced at the time of bin Laden’s death.