via press release:
More Than 15,000 Not-So-Nefarious Videos Reveal Bin Laden “Home Movies”
One year after the death of Osama bin Laden, there’s a whole NEW deadliest catch in SECRETS OF BIN LADEN’S LAIR on Discovery Channel Tuesday, May 1 at 10 PM ET/PT.
Discovery, in concert with NBC News, was given a briefing by a senior U.S. Counterterrorism official on the still classified intelligence seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound. NBC News’ Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski was among those who attended the briefing and provide reports on new and exclusive details from the seized materials. SECRETS OF BIN LADEN’S LAIR, narrated by NBC News’ Harry Smith, taps into the expertise of those who include Mr. Miklaszewski; Robert Windrem, Sr. Investigative Producer, NBC News; Michael Leiter, former Director, National Counterterrorism Center; Bruce Riedel, former CIA; and Pakistan-based journalist Declan Walsh.
*On the 15,000-25,000 video clips seized, it was revealed by a senior counterterrorism official for the first time that many videos, as described to Discovery/NBC News, were not sinister terrorist material:
Robert Windrem: “It was not a group of instructional videos, for example, on how to make an IED. It was not video of targets. Instead, it was things like video of daily life around the compound, a lot of videos of chickens, of cows, of rabbits, of dogs. It’s bin Laden’s home movies. That’s the easiest way to describe it.”
*On the race to get the materials translated from Arabic into the hands of eager operatives from every intelligence community, including CIA, FBI, The National Counter-Terrorism Center and the DOD:
Jim Miklaszewski: “This was a massive effort . . . 200 analysts, 100 linguists poring over every document, every video, every hard drive, examining every word.”
*On terrorist leaders bin Laden was communicating with over the years:
Bruce Riedel: “We now know that while he was in his hideout, Osama bin Laden was also communicating with other terrorist leaders, like that of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that attacked Mumbai in 2008.
*On the reluctance to reveal the threat of al Qaeda without bin Laden still looms:
Jim Miklaszewski: There could very well be active Al Qaeda plots in the works as we speak. And that’s what concerns U.S. intelligence officials more than anything– what they didn’t get outta that compound, what they don’t know about what Al Qaeda’s plans may be.
*On the missing details in the recovered intelligence, plots executed during bin Laden’s Abbottabad years — the London subway bombing and the failed attempt to blow up planes over the Atlantic:
Robert Windrem: “Nothing was found on those two plots in the materials grabbed in Abbottabad . . . It could mean that he was not part of that. It could also mean that these plots were somewhere located off the compound. It could mean that the material on that was, had been, destroyed. “
*On bin Laden disguising himself to avoid capture:
Declan Walsh, who reviewed AMAL’s confidential police report: “It seems at one point he actually shaved his beard- disguised himself as an ailing Pashtun tribesman and just drove from one part of northwestern Pakistan to the other.”