As the CIA on Wednesday released at least 470,000 files from Osama Bin Laden’s computers which was seized during the May 2011 raid in his Abbottabad safehouse, the world got a major glimpse of his life. Amidst graphic videos of suicide bombings and beheading are Bollywood chartbuster songs sung by the likes of Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik. The files along with news reports on security measures for the 2010 Hockey World Cup in Delhi and videos by terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri is a compilation of “Best FIFA World Cup goals” featuring Garrincha, Roger Milla and Fernando Torres. It has been learnt that it also had a November 2009 report of The Indian Express, titled ‘Omar Sheikh’s Pak handler Ilyas Kashmiri also handled Headley’.
The CIA said the nearly 470,000 additional files offer insights into the inner workings of the terrorist organization responsible for 9/11 and detail its clashes with the Islamic State group, a spin-off of al-Qaida’s operation in Iraq. The documents also revealed that Laden was interested in news related to Kashmir and several terrorists, PTI reported. However, the CIA withheld release of nearly two dozen videos, including the one titled ‘The Story of India’ stating that they were copyrighted videos. In the sea of digital data are videos of Bollywood songs, such as ‘Ajnabee mujhko itna bata’ from the Ajay Devgn and Kajol-starrer Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha, the title track from the Salman Khan and Madhuri Dikshit-starrer Dil Tera Aashiq and Udit Narayan’s ‘Tu chand hai poonam ka’ from the 1994 classic Jaane Tamanna. Apart from Hindi music, the documents show that Bin Laden also had clips of the nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, short clips from the cartoon series Tom & Jerry and animation movies Antz and Cars.
The documents also provide insight into al-Qaeda’s efforts to exploit the Arab awakening for its benefit and that of the global jihad, Laden’s efforts to maintain unity within the group and among its affiliates despite disagreements over tactics and doctrine and the terror group’s efforts to rehabilitate its tarnished image among Muslims due its mistakes and negative media portrayals. The CIA said the information remaining in the Abbottabad collection that has not been released publicly includes materials that are sensitive such that their release would directly damage efforts to keep the nation secure.
(With Agency Inputs)