Bin Laden Wears Robe, Watches Self On TV in Home Videos


U.S. officials are releasing a series of videos from the Bin Laden compound today. They were confiscated as part of the motherlode of intelligence information culled from the Abbotabad compound during the raid that killed OBL. One of the videos shows Bin Laden watching himself on TV, dressed casually in a robe and sporting a long gray beard. He’s the picture of in-the-bunker paranoia à la Downfall.

One of the videos is a message to U.S. officials and is thought to have been recorded in October or November. In that one, Bin Laden’s beard is dyed black. The three other videos are “practice sessions” for tapes Bin Laden was to release to the world.

In all honesty, despite CNN’s breathless tones (“You’re about to see him move his left arm. So that might be a clue, perhaps”), it’s hard to say what we can really garner from the video in which OBL watches himself on TV. It is fascinating, though, to see the terrorist in such an unguarded moment. Will update with videos when I can get my hands on them.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the inside of the compound, courtesy of Al Jazeera:


UPDATE 2:18 p.m.: Here’s the video of OBL watching himself on the telly.


As the Times‘ Lede blog points out, OBL appears to click away twice when he sees President Obama on the screen.