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Newly Declassified Documents From "Bin Laden's Bookshelf"

Bin Laden’s Bookshelf:
Bequeathing Millions for Jihad, Exposing Rifts with al-Qa’ida in Iraq, and Planning a 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Media Blitz

March 1, 2016

ODNI Public Affairs

Osama bin Laden’s handwritten will left millions for jihad.  But even in the period shortly before his death, bin Laden placed the utmost importance on portraying his fraying organization as a united enterprise—while his lieutenants privately wrestled with their growing schism from al- Qa’ida in Iraq.  As the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approached, bin Laden envisioned a worldwide media campaign, suggesting his media team work with specific news outlets.

This emergent portrait of bin Laden comes together today via documents from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released in the second batch of media recovered during the 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, at the compound used to hide Osama bin Laden. 


An intelligence officer reviews a copy of Osama Bin Laden's will, released along with other
documents by ODNI on March 1, 2016 (Photo by Brian Murphy, ODNI Public Affairs)

The release aligns with the president’s call for increased transparency—consistent with national security prerogatives—and the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act, which required the ODNI to conduct a review of the documents for release.




  Arabic in regard to the money that is in Sudan - Bin Laden's Will   In regard to the money that is in Sudan - Bin Laden's Will  
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Osama bin Laden's Will "In regard to the money that is in Sudan"

Beginning last summer and with DNI approval, the CIA spearheaded a rigorous interagency review of the classified documents under the auspices of the White House’s National Security Council staff.  Representatives from seven agencies combed through the documents—with the goals of increasing transparency and responding to the congressionally-directed action.




  Arabic To My Precious Father   To my Precious Father nw  
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“It’s important that the documents collected at bin Laden’s compound be made available to the public.  This was no easy feat as members of the task force dedicated themselves over a long period of time working in an Intelligence Community facility to review and declassify as many documents as possible,” said Brian Hale, ODNI Director of Public Affairs.




  Arabic The Army of Islam   The Army of Islam nw  
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Given the large number of documents to review, and the increasing public demand to see them, the White House asked ODNI to declassify and release the documents as they were ready.  This is the second tranche to be released.  The first tranche was released May 20, 2015.  This initial posting contained two sections,
a list of non-classified, English-language material found in and around the compound and a selection of now-declassified documents.




  Arabic Request to Carry Out a Martyr Operaton   Request to Carry Out a Martyr Operation 600x772  
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Those documents, as well as the additional declassified material released today, reflect on a range of topics, including reporting fissures between AQ and AQ in Iraq and bin Laden’s concern about AQ’s public image—and his desire to depict AQ as a united organization.   




  Arabic The Eulogy of the Nations Martyr 30 June 2006-1   The Eulogy of the Nations Martyr 30 June 2006 nw  
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Since the first release, the Intelligence Community has reviewed hundreds of additional documents for possible declassification and release.  The document-review process can be time consuming because—once a document is declassified—it cannot be reclassified. The IC needs to ensure no declassified document will directly injure efforts to keep the nation secure.   With that in mind, the review is ongoing, with the next release expected later this year.

View the Newly Released Documents

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