CIA releases 470,000 files seized in Abbottabad raid that killed Osama Bin Laden

By: | Published: November 2, 2017 12:37 AM

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) today released 470,000 additional files seized in the 2011 US raid on a Pakistani compound that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

CIA, CIA releases files, osama bin laden, abbottabad raid, 470000 files seizedThe Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) today released 470,000 additional files seized in the 2011 US raid on a Pakistani compound that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. (Reuters)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) today released 470,000 additional files seized in the 2011 US raid on a Pakistani compound that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the 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 the terrorist organisation. At the direction of President Donald Trump, the CIA put online 470,000 additional files seized in May 2011 when US Navy SEALs burst into the Abbottabad compound and shot dead Laden. However, the CIA withheld release of nearly two dozen videos, including the one titled ‘The Story of India’ stating that they were copyrighted videos. The ‘Story of India’ is a BBC documentary series, written and presented by historian Michael Wood about history of India.

The files released today include Laden’s son’s wedding video and diaries left by the Saudi-born militant. The documents include Laden’s personal journal, over 18,000 document files and 79,000 audio and image files, which include practice reels for public speeches, audio correspondence and imagery gathered or generated by al-Qaeda for a variety of purposes. “The CIA will continue to seek opportunities to share information with the American people consistent with our obligation to protect national security,” he said. “The materials are posted in the original Arabic and in as close to the original form as possible, modified only so the files cannot be edited,” the CIA said. The CIA said these materials provide insights into the origins of fissures that exist today between al-Qaeda and the ISIS, as well as strategic, doctrinal and religious disagreements within al-Qaeda and its allies; and hardships that the terror group faced at the time of Laden’s death.

Other themes in the materials include al-Qaeda’s preparations to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and the group’s attempts to promulgate its message through western media. 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; materials protected by copyright; pornography; malware and blank, corrupted and duplicate file.

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