Porn stash found at Osama bin Laden compound

WASHINGTON — A sizeable stash of pornography was among the items seized when U.S. Navy SEALs raided the Pakistani hideout of Osama bin Laden, almost two weeks ago, U.S. officials say.

The officials said it was unclear who the material belonged to, and there was no way to know whether bin Laden had viewed it.

Bin Laden’s son and two other adult male couriers lived at the compound, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.

The pornography was among the computer materials confiscated in the raid after the SEALs killed bin Laden, ending an almost ten-year manhunt for the terrorist behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

The disclosure that U.S. investigators found pornography — which provoked ridicule among bloggers Friday — fuels the U.S. narrative that bin Laden was not the respectable or noble figure that his supporters embraced. The U.S. government previously asserted that bin Laden hid behind a woman in the compound as a “human shield” on the night of the raid but later revised its account of the deadly shooting inside the compound and said she rushed at one of the Navy SEALs and was shot in the calf.

The SEALs fatally shot bin Laden in a post-midnight raid May 2 at his hidden compound in the Pakistani army town of Abbottabad, shooting him in the head and chest when he ducked away from the raiders into his bedroom — they thought, reaching for a weapon.

After they killed him, they confiscated what U.S. officials call a “treasure trove” of information from bin Laden’s second-floor office. The items included a handwritten journal, five computers, ten hard drives and 110 thumb drives seized at the site.

All the media taken from the site is now being analyzed by a CIA-led team.

The material includes a record of emails that were sent by flash or thumb drives, carried out by couriers on foot, and transmitted at internet cafes, giving bin Laden access to al-Qaida’s offshoots inside Pakistan, and as far away as Yemen and Europe. The emails show he helped chose target cities and guide overall the overall militant strategy, encouraging followers to attack soft U.S. targets like smaller, less protected cities in the American heartland, aiming to take as many casualties as possible.

Bin Laden’s handwritten journal includes his own philosophical debates over how to force the U.S. government to withdraw from the Arab world, and included musings over how to kill President Barack Obama, U.S. officials say. Bin Laden concluded he was too well protected.

So far, none of the information has tipped them off to new plots under way, or to suspects against whom they could take quick action, one of the officials said.

Talk to us

More in Local News

William Talbott II pleads his innocence before a judge sentences him to life with out parole at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Everett, Wash. A Snohomish County judge sentenced William Talbott II to life in prison without parole, for murdering a young Canadian couple in 1987. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Cold-case murder conviction reversed due to juror’s bias

William Talbott, the world’s first convicted forensic genealogy defendant, was accused of killing a young Canadian couple in 1987.

Dr Chris Spitters (center), Interim Health Officer, makes makes his address Monday evening during a Special Meeting of the Snohomish Health District Board of Health at the Administration Builiding in Everett on March 2, 2020.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Chris Spitters, Snohomish County’s chief health officer, to step down

The physician who has been the official voice of the pandemic here says his departure is not work-related.

Man identified after fatal fall from Arlington cell tower

Michael Vasquez, 24, of Las Vegas, fell about 140 feet while working Saturday afternoon.

Carpenters from America and Switzerland build the first "modular home" made from cross-laminated timber, inside a warehouse on Marine View Drive on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Affordable housing’s future? Innovative home built in Everett

Swiss and American carpenters built the nation’s first “modular home” made of cross-laminated timber.

Houses at the end of the 2100 block of 93rd Drive SE in Lake Stevens used to front a forest. Now the property has been clearcut to make way for a new Costco store near the intersection of Highway 9 and 20th Street SE. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald)
Lake Stevens councilmember says he profited off Costco deal

Until now, Marcus Tageant would not confirm his role in the multimillion-dollar sale of acreage that is soon to be a Costco.

Police: Student, 13, falsely accused classmate of making threat

The student alleged the classmate called to say there would be a shooting at Hidden River Middle School.

John Lovick
State Rep. Lovick gets nod for state Senate

After Legislative District 44 Democrats nominated him, his House seat opened for party jockeying.

Brian Loomis and Michelle Moch browse for a live Christmas tree from Adopt A Stream on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
These holiday trees can liven a salmon’s home as well as your own

Adopt A Stream Foundation is selling native trees. Return them after the holidays, and they’ll become critical fish habitat.

Lake Stevens resident Rick Trout shows a Feb. 2020 photo of the rising lake level in front of his home after a storm. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)
Some Lake Stevens homeowners now must buy flood insurance

Updated FEMA maps show some lakeside homes now sit in a designated flood hazard area, due to a warming climate.

Most Read