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CIA releases more files it says came from bin Laden raid, including his journal

The CIA on Wednesday announced it released a massive tranche of files it said came from the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011.

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Eli Watkins (CNN)
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The CIA on Wednesday announced it released a massive tranche of files it said came from the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011.

Among them: the deceased al Qaeda founder's personal journal.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the release "provides the opportunity for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of this terrorist organization."

The release came in accordance with a 2014 appropriations bill for intelligence activity that required the Director of National Intelligence to review documents obtained from the raid, and make the files it declassified from the review available to the public.

Wednesday's document dump is the latest addition to the public collection, dubbed "bin Laden's bookshelf" by the DNI. The collection includes three previous releases since May 2015.

In addition to bin Laden's journal, the CIA said the release includes thousands of other documents as well as al Qaeda's potential promotional and planning materials.

According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Long War Journal, the release also contains other items of significance, including what it determined are the first-known adult images of bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden and documents about al Qaeda's relationship with Iran and its role in the Iraqi insurgency.

The CIA said some of the files it had not released would harm national security or contained copyrighted material, pornography and malware. The agency said some of the copyrighted material it was withholding were videos like the movie Cars as well as the documentary "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden" and "CNN Presents: World's Most Wanted."

The release on Wednesday came less than a week after President Donald Trump's administration decided to release some but not all files pertaining to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A 1992 law mandated all files had to come out by last Thursday, unless the President waived some from release.

Trump went on to pledge to release all files "other than the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living."

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