Ever wondered what America’s once Public Enemy No 1, slain terrorist Osama bin Laden liked to watch on his laptop? (Netflix didn’t exist back in the day.) Well, looks like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was curious too.
The CIA unleashed this Pandora’s Box upon the world on Wednesday, 1 November – it released nearly 4,70,000 files found on a computer recovered during the 2 May 2011 Abbottabad encounter, which killed bin Laden.
Among the smorgasbord of videos unearthed were Hollywood films (who knew bin Laden secretly loved the US, at least in movies!); cartoons including the evergreen animated series Tom and Jerry; and three documentaries about himself (narcissistic much?).
Bin Laden’s Viewing List Could Very Well be Yours!
It appears that Osama bin Laden, just like any other person, liked to watch animated films like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, popular series like Tom & Jerry and Mr Bean, and even played video games, namely, Final Fantasy VII.
In an even more bizarre revelation, a whopping 28 crocheting video tutorials were found on the computer raided by the CIA. And apparently, Bin Laden was trying to knit himself an ‘iPod Sock’, as per this article.
Here are some of the other films found on Bin Laden’s computer:
- Batman Gotham Knight
- Wallace And Gromit: A Matter of Loaf And Death
- Home On The Range
- Resident Evil
- Heroes of Tomorrow
Viral Videos are Viral for a Reason: Even Bin Laden Watched Them
Even if Bin Laden wasn’t a chronic YouTube user, he definitely liked to watch the popular videos doing the rounds. The CIA found the viral video ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ on Bin Laden’s laptop, among other unexpected treasures like a few funny cat videos.
A Bizarre Mix of Videos
The mastermind behind the tragic 9/11 attack in the US also liked to keep up with what the media was saying about him. Or so it appears, going by the fact that he had kept copies of documentaries and news reports like Biography – Osama bin Laden, Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? and In the Footsteps of bin Laden – CNN.
The CIA’s release comprising 174 gigabytes of video, 7.4 gigabytes of image files, and 18 gigabytes of documents, among other files, also included ‘beheading’ videos, in particular, a video of the beheading of 49-year-old American Jack Hensley in Iraq in 2004.
It appears that Bin Laden was also a fan of world-famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough, as wildlife documentaries like BBC Great Wildlife Moments were also found on his computer.
Insights Into Iran’s Alleged Connection With Al-Qaeda
The CIA said that the materials, like those released in the past, provide insights into the origins of the differences between al-Qaeda and Islamic State, disagreements within al Qaeda and its allies, and the problems al-Qaeda faced at the time of bin Laden's death, according to a Reuters report.
Moreover, this avalanche of information on the late al-Qaeda leader, has again raised questions about Iran’s support of the terror network leading up to the ‘11 September attacks’, reported AP.
US intelligence officials had long declared that Iran had come to be associated with the Al-Qaeda since as early as 1991, despite the middle-eastern country’s continuous denial of the same.
However, a 19-page Arabic report included in the CIA release reveals how Bin Laden, a Sunni extremist from Iran’s arch-rival Saudi Arabia, could look across the Muslim world’s religious divide to partner with the Middle East’s Shiite power to target his ultimate enemy, the United States, reported AP.
"Anyone who wants to strike America, Iran is ready to support him and help him with their frank and clear rhetoric," the report reads.
(With inputs from AP, Reuters, Wired)