World

Files of Al-Qaeda, bin Laden released

WASHINGTON The CIA on Wednesday released a vast archive of Al-Qaeda documents, including Osama bin Laden's handwritten diary, seized in the deadly 2011 raid on his Pakistani compound.

The huge trove includes images of diary pages left by the Saudi-born global extremist leader and a wedding video that includes the first public images of his son Hamza as an adult - an image apparently shot in Iran.

Controversially, scholars from a Washington think-tank who were given access to the trove say the documents also shed new light on Al-Qaeda's murky relationship with Iran.

"Today's release... Provides the opportunity for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of this terrorist organisation," said CIA director Mike Pompeo.

The CIA put online 470,000 additional files seized in May 2011 when US Navy Seals burst into the Abbottabad compound and shot dead the leader of Al-Qaeda.

According to Mr Thomas Joscelyn and Mr Bill Roggio, scholars from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who were allowed to see the trove before it was made public, it provides new insights.

"These documents will go a long way to help fill in some of the blanks we still have about Al-Qaeda's leadership," Mr Roggio said. - AFP

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