WASHINGTON – Keenly conscious of his image, a graying Osama bin Laden no doubt never expected this video – showing him hunched over, draped in a blanket and using a television clicker — to hit the world’s airwaves as it did Saturday.
Filmed by a confidant, the al Qaeda leader contrasts with the younger version of himself on a TV screen a few feet away. That man has a more youthful beard, a hand held up in resolve and a photo of the burning World Trade Center.
U.S. officials, who Saturday released five videos, emphasized the recordings and other materials seized at bin Laden’s Pakistan compound show the terrorist still had a firm hand at the tiller, managing strategic and tactical control of his organization, even as he stayed out of sight in Abbottabad.
The undated videos make clear bin Laden “remained active in al Qaeda terrorist propaganda operations, especially in shaping his own image,” said a senior intelligence official granted anonymity under the ground rules of a briefing at the Pentagon.
Four of the clips show bin Laden, who was killed along with four others Monday by U.S. commandos, in more formal attire. No audio of the terrorist leader speaking accompanied the images. The intelligence official said the audio was removed because it would be “inappropriate to spread the words of terrorists and propaganda messages, especially Osama bin Laden.”
Besides the missing audio, the videos, according to the intelligence official, were not altered in any other way.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency says the compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was killed by American commandos on Monday was an active command and control center for al-Qaida, and that bin Laden was not just a strategic or inspirational leader for the terrorist group, the Voice of America informs. A senior intelligence official made the comments at a briefing at the Pentagon Saturday, during which he also released five video clips of bin Laden that were captured during the raid.
Barack obama meets us navy seal team that carried out raid
President Barack Obama last night met the US Navy Seal assault force that killed Osama bin Laden and told them: “Job well done,” The Telegraph reports. Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden during a visit to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was briefed on the mission by the men who shot bin Laden dead. He presented all the units involved with a Presidential Unit Citation in recognition of their achievement.
Addressing troops afterwards he hailed the “extraordinary Special ops folks” who ensured that the deaths of September 11th 2001 would be avenged by carrying out “one of the greatest intelligence and military operations in America’s history” and killing the al-Qaeda leader. “You know, it was a chance for me to say on behalf of all Americans and people around the world, job well done. Job well done.”
Zawahiri ‘best candidate’ to succeed osama: al-qaeda commander
Al-Qaeda’s top leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is the “best candidate and right person” to succeed group’s slain chief Osama bin Laden, whose death will “boost” Jihad, a top commander of the terror outfit has said, Economic Times reports. “Al-Zawahiri is the best candidate and he is the right person to take over. All wings of al-Qaeda would approve of him and all Jihadist movements trust him greatly,” said Rashad Mohammad Ismail , widely known as Abu Al-Fida, a top commander of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). “He (al-Zawahiri) has all the qualifications and experience,” Al-Fida was quoted as saying by the English- language newspaper Yemen Times.