Osama Bin Laden had twice as many US books than those written by Islamic extremists, newly released information on the reading material of the 9/11 mastermind has shown.
The US director of national intelligence has released documents, book titles and articles which Navy Seals allegedly found in the raid on the Pakistan compound which killed the terror chief.
The majority of the cache of texts relate to tensions between the ideologies of his branch of extreme Islam and western liberal democracy.
His interests were on show with seminal Islamist books Join the Caravan, and The Defence of Muslim Lands by Abdullah Azzam, and Sayyed Qutb’s The America I Have Seen and an Islamic Ruling on Permissibility of Martyrdom Operations.
He also had 30 manuals for graphic software and virus scanners.
The terrorist leader also had maps of Iranian nuclear sites suggesting he was open to battling on other fronts, and a book called Checking Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions by Henry Sokolski and Patrick Clawson. He also had a list of French shipping companies.
Less surprisingly, internal Al-Qaida documents show the sort of internal training methods used in instructing members to build bombs and teach others to do so using powerpoint, PDF documents and flash animations.
“Key aspects of concern to Terror Producers are improvising, small scale, onsite, starting martial based on consumer products, and home built or purchased apparatuses (even from another continent),” a PDF named Terror Franchise stated.
And, perhaps displaying either a curiosity about how much his opponent knew about Al-Qaida or a healthy egotism, he collected reports from the US Government on the terror group.
Some of the documents were electronic, and the Guardian reported some documents like a large collection of pornography are notoriously missing from the release.
“We are not going to release these materials due to the nature of their contents,” DNI James Clapper’s spokesman, Jeffrey Anchukaitis, told the Guardian.
It was the first time the existence of Bin Laden’s pornography was confirmed.