A detailed portrait of Usama bin Laden's daily life emerged Saturday from the single largest intelligence collection ever, including a disclosure of home videos that show him watching news coverage of himself on television.
The videos were shown to the news media Saturday by intelligence officials. The five movies offer the first public glimpse at bin Laden's life behind the walls of his compound in suburban Pakistan.
The government-selected clips also provide an opportunity for the U.S. to paint bin Laden in an unflattering light to his supporters. The videos include outtakes of his propaganda films and, taken together, portray him as someone obsessed with his own image and how he is portrayed to the world.
One of the movies shows bin Laden, his unkempt beard streaked in gray, sitting on the floor, wrapped in a brown blanket and holding a remote control. He flipped back and forth between what appears to be live news coverage of himself. The old, small television was perched on top of a desk with a large tangle of electrical wires running to a nearby control box.
In another, he has apparently dyed and neatly trimmed his beard for the filming of a propaganda video. The video, which the U.S. released without sound, was titled ""Message to the American People" and was believed to be made sometime last fall, a senior intelligence official said during a briefing for reporters, on condition that his name not be used.
Bin Laden "jealously guarded his image," the official said.
The videos are among the wealth of information collected during the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden and four others. The information suggests bin Laden played a strong role in planning and directing attacks by Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Yemen and Somalia.
"The material found in the compound only further confirms how important it was to go after bin Laden," CIA Director Leon Panetta said in a statement. "Since 9/11, this is what the American people have expected of us. In this critical operation, we delivered."
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