CIA releases Bin Laden's personal files with malware warning

Swapna Krishna

Yesterday, the Central Intelligence Agency posted almost 470,000 files (around 321 GB) that were recovered during the raid on Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound in May 2011. This is by far the largest release of material found during the operation that resulted in the al-Qaeda leader's death.

Documents include bin Laden's personal journal, home videos of both bin Laden and al-Qaeda, propaganda, speeches, audio correspondence and more. The CIA has withheld certain materials, including pornography, copyrighted items (Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil are on the list) and malware. The documents shed interesting light on disagreements within al-Qaeda's ranks and the organization's problems with ISIS.

The CIA warns interested users trying to download the files to keep in mind that "this material was seized from a terrorist organization." While the agency has done a preliminary review of the files and withheld any contents with malicious software attached, that doesn't mean that it's all gone. In other words, download judiciously and at your own risk -- and it appears people are doing just that. At the time of this writing, the files aren't currently available due to a "technical issue." The organization is working to make the files available again as soon as possible -- or possibly, just adding more bandwith to its servers.

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  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.