Videotapes Show A Glimpse Of Bin Laden's Life In Hiding

1:23 PM, May 7, 2011   |    comments
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Washington, DC -- Videotapes obtained during the raid on Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad, Pakistan hideout released by the U.S. Saturday revealed images of the Al Qaeda leader preparing his video messages and watching himself on television.

The five movies offer the first public glimpse at bin Laden's life behind the walls of his compound in suburban Pakistan. The government-selected clips also provide an opportunity for the U.S. to paint bin Laden in an unflattering light to his supporters. They video include outtakes of his propaganda films and, taken together, portray him as someone obsessed with his own image and how he is portrayed to the world.

The videos don't include audio. The U.S. did not want to spread Al Qaeda propaganda, said Bob Orr, CBS News Homeland Security correspondent.

The videos also showed him holding a remote control scrolling through a series of channels, and watching pictures of himself on TV. Orr also noted the bin Laden dyed his beard black for the videos.

The bin Laden compound was an active command and control facility for Al Qaeda and bin Laden was actively engaged in coming up with ideas and spreading idea, U.S. officials said in the briefing.

Among the videos was a propaganda video aimed at the U.S. that was not released in October or November 2010.

The Department of Defense plans to release a transcript of the briefing

A law enforcement source told CBS News on Friday that 2.7 terabytes of data were recovered from the laptops, computers, hard drives and other storage devices seized from the bin Laden compound. It's unclear whether all of the 2.7 terabytes are original files or if there are multiple copies of files.

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The first priority, sources told CBS News, is for analysts to determine if the mother-lode of data contains any actionable plots in the works against the U.S. and western interests.

On Friday, it was revealed that the intelligence community had obtained "positive intelligence" from the materials taken from Osama bin Laden's compound which is helping narrow down the locations of core al Qaeda leadership including the whereabouts of Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's former No. 2 man and a candidate to succeed bin Laden.

Intelligence officials have not said how they are analyzing the data, much of it encrypted, but a DOD computer forensic analyst who works on computers captured on the battlefield tells CBS News forensic analysts are most likely using search indexing tools and software to rapidly analyze seized electronic devices to locate information of interest to the intelligence committee.

CBS News/The Associated Press

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