Documents declassified on Wednesday shed new light on the mindset of al-Qaeda's founder, his debates over tactics, his anxiety over Western spying and his fixation with the group's media image.
"The focus should be on killing and fighting the American people and their representatives," Bin Laden wrote in one of the newly revealed documents. The letter was among thousands of files found by US Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011 when they descended on Bin Laden's hideout in the garrison town of Abbottabad and shot him dead.
US intelligence agencies have now declassified more than 100 of these documents taken from Bin Laden's archive, after lawmakers ordered the move and critics accused the CIA of withholding material. AFP was given exclusive access to the documents in advance of their release.
Jeff Anchukaitis, spokesman for the US Director of National Intelligence's office, said the release of  "a sizeable tranche of documents recovered during the raid" was in keeping with President Barack Obama's call for "increased transparency."
The documents are CIA translations of the originals in English, and AFP had no way to independently verify the materials or the accuracy of the translation.


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