The world was offered a sneak peek Saturday of Osama bin Laden’s “home movies” — videos from inside his Pakistani compound that reveal a frail and weary depiction of the world’s most wanted terrorist. (via ABC News)
Saturday morning the Pentagon released five videos obtained during the raid of bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad. Four of them portray the bin Laden we’ve seen countless times in his prerecorded television pronouncements.
But one video screened by the Pentagon offers a starkly different portrait of the infamous recluse. The seemingly candid video (above) shows Osama bin Laden sitting on the floor of his compound, watching satellite television. He holds the remote in his hand as he flips through the news networks to analyze the media’s coverage of him, a vain action he was said to engage in often.
PHOTOS: See bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout
But it is not bin Laden’s vanity that has surprised so many web viewers, but rather his physical appearance. He appears frail and unkempt, with a beard that’s gray overall. He’s wrapped in a blanket rocking back and forth on the floor, wearing a knit cap.
The other clips released Saturday capture the Osama many are more familiar with, showing the terrorist as he rehearses new speeches — familiar diatribes filled with anti-American rhetoric. He appears in his traditional garb, sporting a trimmed and colored black beard and an overall polished appearance.
The videos are all silent, the audio having been removed by the Pentagon in an effort to silence the hateful speech bin Laden is infamous for spreading. According to CNN, the U.S. government wanted to limit the reach of the al-Qaeda propaganda, considering it best to silence the language. But while the videos are silent, they certainly speak volumes.
Department of Defense officials who held the press briefing released the five clips, which they said were just a tiny fraction of the largest cache of senior terrorist materials ever collected. Their stockpile, recovered by Navy Seals, includes DVDs and other videos, thumb drives and volumes of written documents. It’s unknown – but certainly hoped – that the Department of Defense will continue to release the materials, offering Americans added insight and details about this elusive terrorist’s life.