WASHINGTON: The Central Intelligence Agency on Wednesday released a vast archive of documents and video seized in the 2011 US raid on a compound in Pakistan that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Researchers from a Washington think tank who had prior access to the newly declassified dossier say it includes Bin Laden’s son’s wedding video and diaries left by the Saudi-born militant.
“Today’s release … 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 has put online 470,000 additional files seized in May 2011 when US Navy SEALs burst into the Abbottabad compound and shot dead the leader of Al-Qaeda’s global extremist network.
According to Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio, scholars from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who were allowed to study the trove before it was made public, it provides new insights.
“These documents will go a long way to help fill in some of the blanks we still have about al Qaeda’s leadership,” Roggio said.
The inclusion of Hamza Bin Laden’s wedding video, for example, gives the world the first image of Bin Laden’s favourite son as an adult — an image apparently shot in Iran.