Bin Laden was also apparently obsessed with his portrayal in the media, and is pictured above watching himself on television. “Bin Laden Intelligence Haul Is ‘Largest Ever’,” from Sky News, May 7:
The Pentagon claims data found at bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan is the “single largest collection of intelligence ever” as it releases new video footage of the terror chief.
The US has made public videos showing the Al Qaeda leader practising terrorist propaganda speeches and watching coverage of himself on television.
In one film bin Laden is shown wrapped in a brown blanket and holding a remote control as he flicks back and forth between clips of himself.
In another, he has noticeable [sic] dyed his beard to eliminate the grey streaks and it is neatly trimmed as he rehearses a video message.
The footage was seized from the Abbottabad compound where America’s most wanted terrorist was shot, nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks that Al Qaeda coordinated.
An intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the videos and other evidence found proves that the the compound was an “active command and control centre”.
He said it was clear that bin Laden “was not just a strategic thinker for the group” but was also involved in “operational planning” and “driving tactical decisions”.
America claims that evidence taken during the raid includes phone numbers and documents which it hopes will help dismantle Al Qaeda.
For many years intelligence officers believed that bin Laden was hidden in the mountains of Pakistan and didn’t have access to real-time news.
But after he was discovered in the suburbs of Abbottabad, they realised that a satellite dish had provided a television feed to the compound.
Photo from the Associated Press.