There is no need to explain who was Osama bin Laden and what he did that made him an instantly recognizable person. But several years after his death in 2011, a new documentary claims that the Al-Qaeda founder may have communicated with terrorists by encoding messages into porn videos.

These eyebrow-raising claims are part of a new National Geographic special—Bin Laden's Hard Drive— that analyzes and reveals the digital material recovered in Laden's compound in Pakistan.

osama bin laden
Documentary on Osama Bin Laden Wikimedia commons

Laden's Death in Pakistan

The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks was killed in his secret compound in Pakistan's Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, by U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six during an overnight raid. Till now, there are many conspiracy theories about the death of the world's most wanted man and some believe the government did not reveal the whole truth about Landen's death.

However, while searching his Abbottabad compound, U.S. commandos found a trove of smut lurking in his possession. Later, in 2011, Reuters first reported that Laden was in possession of porno flicks. As per the officials, they were not sure where exactly in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been watching it. They also specifically said that it was not clear whether Landen himself had acquired or viewed those pornographic materials.

Examination of Newly Declassified Hard Drives

The materials found at the compound by the commandos included digital thumb drives. As per the officials, these drives may have played a role to carry electronic messages to and from the Al-Qaeda head. The officials have declined to release the videos publicly but said the collection was "fairly extensive" --

  • Around 470,000 digital files,
  • 250 gigabytes of data,
  • Over 100 USB drives, DVDs and CDs,
  • Five computers, and
  • Multiple cell phones.

The documentary by National Geographic "Bin Laden's Hard Drive" scrutinizes Laden's layered personal psychology, his relationship with his family, his point of view about faith and religion as well as his legacy of violence and destruction.

Osama bin Laden left $29 million for 'jihad for the sake of Allah'
New documentary on former Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden Reuters

In this documentary, the CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen presents a groundbreaking look at Laden's personal life through an in-depth examination of newly declassified hard drives. Bergen said, "Exploring these hard drives, it's clear that digital information can say a lot. Osama bin Laden's files left behind an imprint of a complex man, responsible for the murder of thousands of people."

"History will remember him for that but, in order to cut through the perception of this ascetic in a cave on a holy crusade, it's important for us to see how he crafted the videos that went out to his followers.

"To read how his well-educated wives helped him write incendiary speeches. To watch as he inculcated his children and grandchildren into an ideology of hate leading to acts of violence against animals and the recitation of jihadist poetry. Understanding him is vital in order to combat other potential bin Ladens in the future."

The experts featured in the National Geographic special include:

  • Nelly Lahoud, Senior Fellow, International Security Program, New America and one of the few people in the world to have read every personal communication recovered from Abbottabad;
  • Dr. Reid Meloy, forensic psychologist, and FBI consultant;
  • Ali Soufan, former FBI special agent who led investigations into Al-Qaeda and was one of the first to uncover the link between the terrorist outfit and 9/11;
  • Dalia Mogahed, American-Muslim scholar and Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

The documentary, to be premiered on National Geographic on Thursday, September 10, 2020, comes at a time when Laden's niece Noor Bin Ladin—who is an avid Trump supporter despite living in Switzerland—claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump is the only one who can prevent another 9/11 attack on America. She has been supporting Trump since he announced his bid for the White House in 2015.