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Bin Laden raid: Son Hamza’s wedding video in CIA file release

Osama bin Laden’s personal diary, video of his son Hamza’s wedding and documentaries about himself were among files found on the al-Qaeda leader’s computer, the CIA has revealed.

Nearly half a million of the files have been released, the fourth such tranche.

Bin Laden’s computer was taken during the 2011 US raid in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad in which he died.

Some contents are being withheld over security or because they are corrupted or pornographic, the CIA said.

CIA director Mike Pompeo said the release included 18,000 documents, 79,000 audio files and images and more than 10,000 videos which shed light on the “plans and workings of this terrorist organisation”.

What do we learn about Bin Laden’s son Hamza?

The videos include a clip from the wedding of his son Hamza – thought to be his favourite son. Analysis of objects shown in the video suggest it was filmed in Iran. Previously only childhood videos of Hamza had been publicly seen.

The hour-long video shows Hamza – who has a moustache but no beard and wears a white headdress – sitting on a carpet with some men, while another man chants Koranic verses in the background, AP news agency reported.

Bin Laden himself is not seen in the video but one of the wedding attendees says that the “father of the groom, the prince of the mujahideen” is joyous at his son’s marriage and his joy will “spread to all the mujahideen”, AP said.

The video also shows a man questioning boys on the history of Koranic verse, boys playing football, decorations including red heart-shaped balloons and wedding food including fruit, bottles of cola, sweets and tea.

Hamza bin Laden has been mooted as a future al-Qaeda leader. The organisation has released audio messages from him in recent years and his image was superimposed onto a picture of the New York World Trade Center on the recent anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

What was in bin Laden’s video collection?

The al-Qaeda leader had a series of animated films on his hard drive including Antz, Cars, Chicken Little and The Three Musketeers.

There were also several YouTube videos, including a viral clip from the UK called “Charlie bit my finger” and videos about crocheting, including one entitled “How to crochet a flower”. The role-playing computer game Final Fantasy VII was also on the computer.

Bin Laden also had copies of three documentaries about him, including one called Where in the World is Osama bin Laden, as well as National Geographic documentaries including Kung Fu Killers, Inside the Green Berets and World’s Worst Venom, AP reported.

The al-Qaeda leader lived in the walled compound with several members of his family. Three other men – one of Bin Laden’s sons and two couriers – and a woman were also killed in the raid.

What debate was taking place inside al-Qaeda?

The CIA said the released documents gave an insight into ideological differences between bin Laden’s al-Qaeda and the more recently formed so-called Islamic State (IS) group, as well as debates within al-Qaeda itself.

It includes material about what the organisation planned to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and its efforts to get its propaganda into Western media outlets.

There is also information about al-Qaeda’s response to the Arab uprisings in 2011, disagreements over tactics and efforts to counter negative media coverage and improve its reputation among the world’s Muslims.

Source: BBC

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