The government released five videos found in Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Saturday, showing the al Qaeda leader preparing a message to the United States and watching himself on television, reports the Associated Press. The videos were seized by Navy Seals after Bin Laden was killed, and were shown to reporters on Saturday. The audio has been deleted from the videos, and reporters were not allowed to record the briefing, according to the New York Times.
Note that these were clips selected by the government. The AP writes, "the government-selected clips also provide an opportunity for the U.S. to paint Bin Laden in an unflattering light to his supporters." In totality, the videos indicate that Bin Laden was highly concerned with his appearance, place him at the compound, and suggest that he was still involved with condemning the U.S. and possible terrorism.
ABC News describes the first video as a previously unreleased message from Bin Laden directed to the United States that was believed to have been filmed between Oct. 9 and Nov. 5, 2010. There is no audio, but MSNBC reports that a government official said Bin Laden was giving his standard message of condemning U.S. policy and capitalism.
The second video, which runs over a minute long, shows Bin Laden watching himself on television and holding the remote control to change the channels between what appear to be Arabic news channels.
The clip begins with a long shot of the screen, showing a list of satellite channels. The camera then pulls out and Bin Laden is shown sitting down with a blanket over his shoulders and a wool cap. His beard is grey and white. At one point Bin Laden asks the cameraman to go back to the TV screen so it can focus on him holding a weapons.
The remaining three videos appear to be practice sessions, possibly for the first video. In each of them he appears to stumble in his speech, stop, and begin over.
Here is the raw footage of the second video of Bin Laden watching himself on television.
Here is a video from MSNBC containing clips from the videos.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.