When you imagine the compound that Osama Bin Laden was eventually found in, hidden away in Pakistan, there are likely a lot of things you could conjure up about his stronghold. However having manuals for popular software packages on his bookshelf is unlikely to be one of them, but that’s exactly what he had. Data released as part of “increased transparency,” from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), shows that Bin Laden had many technical manuals on his book shelf, as well as a Game Spot gaming guide.
While that last one is thought to have been part of other compound resident’s reading material, including a Guinness Book of World Records 2008 for children and a game guide for Delta Force Extreme 2, Bin Laden himself did have a lot of manuals for specific pieces of software. There were instructions for Adobe Premier, Astarte DVD Export and a McAfee Virus scan 6.0 manual. I imagine John McAfee would have something humorous to say about that.
Of course these weren’t the only contents of his book shelf and in-fact most of it was material on extremism and anti-terror tactics that may be used by Western governments. There were also books on history, covering everything from the Vietnam War to the battles between Islam and Christianity between the 8th and 11th centuries.
The biggest trove of recently declassified data however is a number of letters between Osama and family members of friends, all of which can be read (translated) in their entirety on the official ODNI page.
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KitGuru Says: Much like ISIS, it seems Bin Laden was more than happy to use Western tools to further his aims of stopping Western ideals. Irony is apparently lost on those that follow a life of violent intolerance.