Pornography reportedly found in bin Laden’s hideout

May 13, 2011

A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said Friday.

The pornography recovered in bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who discussed the discovery with Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

The officials said they were not sure where in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been viewing it. The officials said they did not know if bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials.

Reports from Abbottabad have said that bin Laden’s compound was cut off from the Internet or other hard-wired communications networks. It is unclear how compound residents would have acquired the pornography.

But a video that was confiscated from the compound and released by the Obama administration showed bin Laden watching pictures of himself on a TV screen, indicating that the residence was equipped with video playback equipment.

Materials carted away from the compound by the U.S. commandos included digital thumb drives, which U.S. officials believe may have been a principal means by which couriers carried electronic messages to and from the al-Qaeda leader.

Three other U.S. officials familiar with evidence gathered during investigations of other Islamist militants said the discovery of pornography is not uncommon in such cases.

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