Did Osama bin Laden use porn videos to secretly communicate with Al-Qaeda aides? Docu says it's possible

Several thousands of digital files were recovered from the 9/11 mastermind's residence in Pakistan after he was killed by the Navy SEALs


                            Did Osama bin Laden use porn videos to secretly communicate with Al-Qaeda aides? Docu says it's possible
Osama bin Laden with Ayman al-Zawahiri (Getty Images)
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Days ahead of the 19th anniversary of the dreadful 9/11 attacks, a new documentary series has explored the possibility of late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden secretly communicating with his terrorist colleagues by concealing coded messages in porn videos, the Daily Beast has reported. 

'Bin Laden’s Hard Drive', which premieres on the eve of the 9/11 attacks' anniversary, highlights the newly declassified information on the terror mastermind. In the documentary series from Karga 7 Pictures, author and CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen analyzed 470,000 digital files seized from bin Laden’s housing compound and decoded their secrets with help from CIA profilers, criminal psychologists, religious scholars and army experts. Videos, photos, audio files and several other documents have thrown light on the personal life of the mastermind of various terror attacks, including 9/11, nearly a decade after his killing in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in May 2011. A cache of digital and written materials was confiscated by Navy SEAL Team Six that nailed bin Laden. More than 200 gigabytes of data, over 100 USB drives, DVDs and CDs were discovered inside the compound along with five computers and several cell phones.

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People gather outside Osama Bin Laden's compound, where he was killed during a raid by US special forces on May 3, 2011, in Abottabad, Pakistan (Getty Images)

Also recovered were books that the man was reportedly reading at the time of his death, besides letters he had written to his family members. Bin Laden was found to be possessing a trove of adult films and erotic images which was called by officials a "fairly expensive" collection of modern, electronically recorded video that that time. And now, Bergen, who was the first Western journalist to take a TV interview of Bin Laden, has examined whether the sleazy files were tools for communicating with his colleagues. 

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'Bin Laden's files left behind imprint of complex man'

"Osama bin Laden's files left behind an imprint of a complex man, responsible for the murder of thousands of people," Bergen, who took Laden’s interview in Afghanistan in 1997, said. "History will remember him for that, but, in order to cut through the perception of this ascetic in a cave on a holy crusade, it’s important for us to see how he crafted the videos that went out to his followers.… Understanding him is vital in order to combat other potential bin Ladens in the future."

According to Bergen, bin Laden was afraid of using emails for sending instructions to his acolytes since the encryption on the messages could not be trusted. He banked on couriers to communicate with the outside world. The documentary has now given birth to speculation that bin Laden may have used encrypted instructions in his porn files to avoid hawk eyes that were looking out for him. 

Forensic psychologist and CIA expert Reid Meloy, as per the Beast report, suggested in the series that bin Laden may have been a normal man who sometimes wanted to indulge in self-gratification, for “biology trumps ideology”. 

Experts and his former colleagues have often spoken about bin Laden’s humility. A devout Muslim who reportedly had a polite way of talking, loved his family and condemned arrogance in his followers and compatriots, bin Laden gave an impression that he was an old-school prophet. But the contradiction in the man became evident when he was also seen as a raging narcissist who was obsessed about his self-depiction. The documentary throws much light on the contradictions in bin Laden’s nature.

More mystery was also associated with the origins of the videos. Bin Laden didn’t have the internet at his Pakistan residence or a computer but had a number of TVs. He also reportedly lived with 22 others and hence it was not known whether it was him who stockpiled the tapes or if he had ever watched them. 
 
Officials have in the past declined to reveal details of the video’s content. In June 2017, the CIA said it would not release the files because of the "nature of their contents". 
Nearly 3,000 lives were lost in the horrific air-borne attacks on September 11, 2001, that brought down the twin towers in New York. 

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