Pentagon officials have released several candid home videos of Osama bin Laden that were seized during a raid on his secret mansion in Abbottabad, Pakistan where he was shot dead last week.
The never-before-seen videos of bin Laden, released at a news briefing in Washington, give a glimpse into the Al Qaeda leader’s life in recent years. In all, five videos were released that had been seized by U.S. special forces during their mission.
In a propaganda video said to have been filmed in October or November 2010, bin Laden is shown wearing a white skullcap, white robes and with a dyed black beard as he speaks to the camera. No audio was played on the film, but Pentagon officials said it contained a message to the United States. It is the first such film to emerge since Al Qaeda released a video address from bin Laden in 2007, the BBC reports.
In another video, an old-looking bin Laden is shown sitting on the floor wrapped in a blanket while watching a program about himself on Arabic TV. He holds a remote control and flips through satellite TV channels.
A senior defense official said that the U.S. raid on bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound had resulted in the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever seized. Intelligence officials are currently combing through the treasure trove of computers, DVDs, hard drives and documents retrieved from the home.
The videos show that bin Laden was still very much in control over Al Qaeda’s day-to-day operations, Pentagon officials told reporters, according to AFP.
Other videos were reportedly practice sessions for videos that bin Laden planned to release to the world.
A senior intelligence official told reporters that bin Laden had remained a key leader in Al-Qaeda from his base at the secret compound in Pakistan, AFP reports.
"He was far from a figurehead, he was an active player," the official said.
GlobalPost has also obtained footage of inside bin Laden's compound: