Bin Laden Documents

In an effort to further enhance public understanding of al-Qa’ida, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on 1 November 2017 released additional materials recovered in the 2 May 2011 raid on Usama Bin Ladin’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

With the release of these materials, the information remaining in the collection that has not been released publicly includes materials that are protected by copyright; sensitive such that their release would directly damage efforts to keep the nation secure; pornography; malware; blank, corrupted, and duplicate files. The entire collection has been available to the US Intelligence Community and Department of Defense organizations for years.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) previously released documents from the collection on 20 May 2015, 1 March 2016, and 19 January 2017 after an interagency review spearheaded by the CIA. The releases align with ODNI initiatives for increased transparency – consistent with national security prerogatives – and the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act, which required the ODNI to conduct a review of the documents for release.

CIA’s 1 November 2017 release includes additional al-Qa’ida letters, videos, audio files, and communications, as well as routine family correspondence. As a result, it builds on the ODNI releases that provided material relevant to understanding the plans and workings of terrorist organizations. The material is posted in its original Arabic format and in as close to the original form as possible, modified only so the files cannot be edited.

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