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VIDEOS: Osama tapes from the Abbottabad compound

Last updated on: May 8, 2011 21:38 IST

VIDEOS: Osama tapes from the Abbottabad compound

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The US has released five videos of the slain terror kingpin seized during the raid on his Abbottabad mansion, which was an "active command and control centre" of Al Qaeda.

Authorities have removed audio from the footage.

Coverage: US hunts down Osama bin Laden

The first video is a complete yet unreleased bin Laden video. He calls it "A Message to the American People", which US intelligence agencies believe was produced sometime between October 9 and November 5, 2010.

"We don't know why the video hasn't yet appeared," the official said. In this video, bin Laden's beard was dyed black. In this message, he repeats his usual themes by condemning the US policy and denigrating capitalism, the official said.

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Video: Courtesy US Department of Defence
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We're obviously reviewing these and other materials, other videos to see if there's any threat information contained within them. I'm unaware personally that this particular video contains any specific or direct threat information but we're obviously continuing to analyse that video," the official said.

Authorities removed the audio from the footage because it would be inappropriate to spread the words of terrorists and their propaganda messages, especially bin Laden's, a senior US intelligence official explained, walking through details from the five video clips found among the material at the compound of the Al Qaeda leader in the Pakistani garrison city.

The second video, also produced between October 9 and November 5, 2010, shows bin Laden watching his own images on television.

In the longest of all his videos, bin Laden appears to be browsing various news channels, and finally watching his own image being telecast on a television channel. But it is not yet clear, if this was a live telecast of playing a previous recording.



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"It's improbable that this kind of footage would be anywhere but with bin Laden. He jealously guarded his image," the senior intelligence official said, referring to the second video in which bin Laden has not coloured or trimmed his beard, suggesting that this practice was one he reserved for films he planned to distribute.

One can see bin Laden gesturing to the person recording him to focus on the image on television of bin Laden firing a rifle.

Not commenting on the fact that in this video his beard is not dyed, the senior intelligence official said he was clearly an Al Qaeda leader who was very interested in his own image.

The last three video clips are short and show rehearsal sessions by the Al Qaeda leader.



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"He took very seriously and engaged very heavily in Al Qaeda propaganda operations, so, we'll have to do some more analysis on that, but our take-away is that he jealously guarded his image," the official said.

"Some are clearly out-takes. The first video shows bin Laden practising in front of an
armoire," the official said.

The third video clip shows the beginning of a video session where either he or the filmmaker missed the cue and fumbled the lighting.

"Our preliminary analysis suggests that the armoire is an armoire that matches one at the compound," the official said.





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The fifth and final clip shows an out-take from a practice session in front of a wrinkled sheet. That was probably used as a temporary backdrop, the official noted.

The video clips were being released to underscore two main points: first, to make it clear  that bin Laden remained active in Al Qaeda's terrorist propaganda operations, especially in shaping his own image.

Second, it is highly unlikely that some of this footage would have resided anywhere else but with bin Laden, the official said.



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