In an effort to further enhance public understanding of al-Qa’ida, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on 1 November 2017 released additional materials recovered in the 2 May 2011 raid on Usama Bin Ladin’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
With the release of these materials, the information remaining in the collection that has not been released publicly includes materials that are protected by copyright; sensitive such that their release would directly damage efforts to keep the nation secure; pornography; malware; blank, corrupted, and duplicate files. The entire collection has been available to the US Intelligence Community and Department of Defense organizations for years.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) previously released documents from the collection on 20 May 2015, 1 March 2016, and 19 January 2017 after an interagency review spearheaded by the CIA. The releases align with ODNI initiatives 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.
CIA’s 1 November 2017 release includes additional al-Qa’ida letters, videos, audio files, and communications, as well as routine family correspondence. As a result, it builds on the ODNI releases that provided material relevant to understanding the plans and workings of terrorist organizations. The material is posted in its original Arabic format and in as close to the original form as possible, modified only so the files cannot be edited.
All of the material, which includes audio, document, image, video, and software operating system files, can be found on the All Original Filessection of this page. To view material by category, refer to the Audio, Documents, Images, and Video pages. To view the material by the device from which it originated, refer to the Devices page. Lastly, to view Microsoft Office files of various ages and formats that CIA has converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) for ease of viewing, refer to the Converted Material page.
Follow this link to access CIA’s press release.
The files underwent interagency review, and an effort was made to remove copyrighted material. However, the files may still contain some copyrighted works. Further reproduction, distribution, public performance, or public display of any copyrighted work is generally prohibited without the permission of the copyright owner. Copyright owners may request the removal of their content by submitting a notice via mail to Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC, 20505; via fax to 571-204-3800; or via the contact button on the CIA.gov homepage.
A notice must include:
- A sufficient description of the copyrighted content to locate and remove it;
- The copyright owner’s contact information or that of an authorized agent;
- A statement of good faith belief that the use of the content at issue is not permitted by the copyright owner, an authorized agent, or the law; and
- A statement that the information in the notice is accurate, including that it is submitted by the copyright owner of the content at issue or an authorized agent.
Bin Ladin’s Journal
1 November 2017
In addition to the computer files and digital media recovered in the May 2011 raid on Usama Bin Ladin’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, CIA recovered Bin Ladin’s journal. As part of the 1 November 2017 release, CIA made available photographs of the journal, which includes an entry the day before Bin Ladin’s death. Please note the photographs were taken in the urgent hours after the raid as the US Intelligence Community analysts reviewed the material in search of clues that would reveal ongoing al-Qa’ida plots, as well as the identities and locations of al-Qa’ida personnel, and other information of immediate importance.