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On Wednesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declassified dozens of documents detailing written materials found at the Osama bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, during the Navy SEAL raid in 2011. They range from the banal—magazines, video-game guides—to personal correspondence from bin Laden himself.

Among the newly declassified documents is a file titled "Instructions to Applicants," which reads like an application for joining al-Qaida. Applicants are asked to "please write clearly and legibly" in Arabic or the language they are most fluent in. The form is comprehensive: from general questions on name, age, hobbies, and education, to questions like "Are any of your relatives or friends in the jihad theater [of war]?" "Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?" and "Who should we contact in case you became a martyr?"

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This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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