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In Osama bin Laden’s collection: Children movies, Jackie Chan shows, comedy film

The CIA has released more 470,000 files seized from the al Qaeda leader’s hideout in Abbottabad.

world Updated: Nov 02, 2017 15:29 IST
In this 1998 file photo made available on March 19, 2004, Osama bin Laden is seen at a news conference in Khost, Afghanistan.
In this 1998 file photo made available on March 19, 2004, Osama bin Laden is seen at a news conference in Khost, Afghanistan.(AP)

The Central Intelligence Agency released on Wednesday more than 470,000 files seized at terrorist leader Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The files offer a window into the former al Qaeda leader’s life in exile, and how his terrorist group worked. But not all the material was of a serious nature. There was a video ‘Charlie bit my finger!’ depicting a boy and his baby brother who bit his finger, reports the Associated Press.

His video collection included Antz, a 1990s animated adventure comedy about an ant colony, Chicken Little and The Three Musketeers. Also in the collection were Where in the World is OsamabinLaden and several National Geographic programmes: Kung Fu Killers, Inside the Green Berets and World’s Worst Venom.

The Wire website reported many of the “frivolous” stuff could be for his family.

“It’s like, ‘ooh Osama bin Laden is a Tom and Jerry fan!’ And maybe he is, it’s quite possible. I like Tom and Jerry, too,” Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the editor of its Long War Journal, which got early access to the trove from the CIA.

“But I suspect a lot of the sort of frivolous or the personal stuff was more for his family,” Roggio told The Wire.

Other material includes numerous episodes of a Jackie Chan television show, a video called HORSE_DANCE, and instructions for crocheting butterflies, socks, and baskets.

The Business Insider website says the presence of children’s content can be explained by the fact that bin Laden was living with his family in the secret compound in Abbottabad where he was killed by US Navy Seal Team 6 in May 2011.

Some of the videos in the CIA files -- like songs designed for children to learn English -- raise the possibility that bin Laden was schooling his children from the compound while he was in hiding.

A video from the files offers the first public look at Hamza bin Laden, Osama’s son and potential successor, as an adult. Until now, the public has only seen childhood pictures of him.