Newly declassified documents show that Osama bin Laden was a fan of reading “conspiracy theories”about the 9/11 attacks and was interested in the Illuminati.
The trove of declassified documents also show Bin Laden liked to read conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks and Illuminati.
An al Qaeda recruitment form is among a trove of documents released by US intelligence officials from the 2011 Pakistan raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The document begins as mundanely as any professional organisation’s application, asking candidates to “write clearly and legibly”.
Would-be hires are asked to state their name, age and marital status.
“Any hobbies or pastimes?” reads one question.
But it soon reveals a more sinister purpose, asking job-seekers, “Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?”
“Who should we contact in case you become a martyr?”
The declassified files also show Bin Laden was an avid reader of conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks he masterminded, as well as the Illuminati.
He had a number of English-language works, including from US investigative journalist Bob Woodward and Noam Chomsky, a vocal critic of American foreign policy.
One of the more unexpected reading materials recovered from the compound was the “Delta Force Extreme 2 Videogame Guide”.
The files reveal, too, Bin Laden’s fear that a microscopic bug could be inserted into his wife’s clothes.
More than 100 documents – seized by US commandos on 2 May 2011 when they stormed Bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad and shot him dead – were released on Wednesday.
In one memo, Bin Laden comes across more like a director of human resources than a jihadist leader.
“We need a development and planning department,” he writes.
As well as seeking volunteers with deep religious convictions, he wants recruits to have qualifications in office management, science and engineering.
Like any other organisation, much emphasis is placed on adequate training and weeding out slackers.
In the memo, Bin Laden recommends new hires be prepared for months at al Qaeda safe houses in Pakistan before being sent to launch attacks in the West.
“Any person we notice who displays boredom, does not finish the tasks assigned to him and gets mad quickly, we have to remove him from external work,” he writes.
One memo, which CIA analysts believe was written by Bin Laden or another al Qaeda leader, grumbles about a recruit who stayed only two months before returning to the West.
“We gave him an academic explosives course and he travelled back before his residency expired and we have not heard from him since he left,” it says.
“We hope that we hear from him very soon.”
The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the files’ release “aligns with the president’s call for increased transparency consistent with national security prerogatives”.