Washington, Nov 2: The CIA has released a thousands of files seized during the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, including personal photographs of his family and insight into the Al Qaeda's global leadership, the media reported. The massive amount of new material released on Wednesday containes nearly 470,000 items totalling 321 gigabytes of data, reports CBS News.
It includes audio, video and text files found on devices recovered from bin Laden's compound, where he lived with his wife and children along with two couriers and their families. The Central Intelligence Agency also released bin Laden's 228-page personal journal, written by hand in Arabic.The Al Qaeda leader was killed in the May 2, 2011, raid by US Navy SEALs after nearly 10 years in hiding following the September 2001 attacks. Bin Laden narrowly escaped from Afghanistan over the border into Pakistan as US and allied Afghan forces pursued him in the mountains of Tora Bora in December 2001.
The CIA's release of files and documents comes after three previous releases of material by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence over the course of the last three years.
"Today's release of recovered (Sl 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 this terrorist organization," CBS News quoted CIA Director Michael Pompeo as saying.
The release also includes 18,000 document files, 79,000 audio and image files and more than 10,000 videos, including footage of bin Laden rehearsing speeches and what the CIA describes as Al Qaeda "home movies" of bin Laden's son Hamza. It also includes a never before-seen video of Hamza, which gives first public view of Hamza bin Laden as an adult. In the 1-hour video, shot at his wedding, Hamza is sporting a trimmed moustache and is seen without a beard.
The files also include Hollywood films, cartoons and documentaries. "Antz". "Cars", "The Three Musketeers" and "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?" were among the movies found on devices at the compound.
Wednesday's release comes less than a week after President Donald Trump decided to release some but not all files pertaining to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, reports CNN.
A 1992 law mandated all files had to come out by last Thursday, unless the President waived some from release.
Trump went on to pledge to release all files "other than the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living".