Made public Wednesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — all under the heading "Bin Laden's Bookshelf" — the documents span the terror chief's private life. They include personal letters, internal al Qaeda messages and operational analyses. They also include publicly available material — government reports, religious tracts, news articles and maps.
In a 2008 letter to one of his wives, bin Laden outlined his wishes in the event that he was killed, asking that their daughters be wed to mujahidin "or else to good people," and that their son be sent to do jihadist battle.
Also among bin Laden's collection was an al Qaeda job application that asked a lot of typical questions — past jobs, career objectives, criminal convictions — along with, "Do you want to execute a suicide operation?" and, "Who should we contact in case you became a martyr?"
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In what is described as a "verbally released document" addressing an operative's criminal trial, bin Laden stated his broad goals for jihad. "By God, we shall not stop, God willing, except at the doorsteps of the White House, and to raise the banner of monotheism on their so-called Statue of Liberty," he said.
In an undated letter, bin Laden urged jihadists to establish "bases" outside of Afghanistan "because this country is not only one of the biggest supporters of the international infidel, but is its guide and one of its main partners."
The documents also include bin Laden's library of English-language books, which indulged his interest in conspiracy theories about the United States.