The details on hundreds of letters, books, magazine articles, reports and other materials found in Al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden’s secret compound in Pakistan were declassified and released by the Obama administration.
Among the documents released, which were taken from bin Laden’s compound by Navy SEALS after it was seized in May 2011, is an application for joining Al-Qaida as well as personal correspondence among bin Laden family members.
Also released was a list of the 266 English-language books, think tank reports and U.S. government documents, found in bin Laden’s digital collection.
Among the books found in the collection were “Obama’s Wars” by Bob Woodward and books by Jewish philosopher and political commentator Noam Chomsky. Books on the Holocaust and books by extremists also were found in the collection. “The 9/11 Commission Report” also was part of the collection, according to reports.
Letters found that were exchanged between bin Laden and his many children show him to be a loved and admired father. In a letter to one of his wives, he wrote that if he were killed she could remarry, but that on Judgment Day she would have to choose one of the husbands with whom to spend eternity. “I really want for you to be my wife in paradise,” he wrote.
The letter, written in August 2008, also charged her to “raise my children properly and to watch them, and be careful of bad company for them.”
A three-page questionnaire for prospective Al-Qaida members included questions such as: “Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?” “What objectives would you like to accomplish on your jihad path?” and “Who should we contact in case you become a martyr?” Lines were provided for the contact’s name and phone number.