Secret Osama Docs Released: Love Notes, Dentist Fears

'Treasure trove' also confirms bin Laden's obsession with attacking US
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2015 11:34 AM CDT
Secret Osama Docs Released: Love Notes, Dentist Fears
This undated file photo shows al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, long before his death in Pakistan in 2011.   (AP Photo/File)

The Navy SEALs didn't just take out Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011—they also retrieved hundreds of documents from his Abbottabad, Pakistan, hideout that have reportedly been described by officials as a "treasure trove" of info about the al-Qaeda leader. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence today released what CNN calls an "unprecedented number" of those docs, including communications with al-Qaeda members and other terrorist groups, personal correspondence with family, and a huge digital library. Especially insightful are documents that show bin Laden didn't think insurgents should waste their time setting up an Islamic state, but instead should throw their efforts into attacking US targets. Also found at the compound: HR-like artifacts, including an al-Qaeda application that includes routine questions, but also one that asks: "Who should we contact in case you became a martyr?"

Just as intriguing are the documents that fill in the blanks on other things that went on in bin Laden's head. In one memo, he expresses concern about climate change and "food security," prompting CNN to write he "[sounded] more like a World Bank official than the leader of a major terrorist organization." There were plenty of missives to family members living in Iran, including his son Hamza and one of his wives (he had four), to whom he wistfully penned, "[How] long have I waited for your departure from Iran"; he warned that same wife to watch for Iranian dentists who might implant tracking devices in her fillings. SEALs also uncovered Osama's digital library, which contained conspiracy-theory books about the Illuminati and Freemasons, counterterrorism reports, and a suicide prevention manual. Also found: references to a 9/11 10th anniversary speech bin Laden was planning. See all the documents here. (Read more Osama bin Laden stories.)

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