CIA releases thousands of files recovered in bin Laden raid
The CIA has released the last batch of documents recovered from slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, including personal photographs of his family and insight into the terror network’s global leadership.
An analysis of the hundreds of thousands of documents from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) reveals that the trove includes new information about al Qaeda’s relationship with Iran.
A document purportedly written by a senior member of al Qaeda details an arrangement between Iran and members of al Qaeda to strike American interests in “Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.” In exchange, Iran offered al Qaeda “money, arms” and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon.”
The author of the file, described as “well-connected,” explains that al Qaeda’s forces violated the terms of the agreement of the deal with Iran, resulting in several men being detained.
But the senior al Qaeda member also notes that the organization is not at war with Iran due to their shared anti-American interests.
The released documents also include video scenes from the wedding of Hamza bin Laden, Osama’s eldest son, whom al Qaeda is reportedly grooming for a leadership role.
One of the most notable releases is a 228-page handwritten journal kept by the elder bin Laden himself, which contains “thoughts on the 2011 Arab uprisings, which bin Laden wanted his men to capitalize on,” according to the FDD.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been pushing for the full release of the CIA’s documents from the raid for months. In March, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said the release of the documents was essential.
“Those documents need to get out, especially as you see the growth of al Qaeda and ISIS,” Nunes said in March, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “Those documents need to get out for historians to have those records so that we can begin to build a history of what al Qaeda was, what it is today, what they were thinking at the time.”
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