The videos, seized from bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, gave the world a first glimpse into the al Qaida leader's private life behind his compound walls, and the image that emerged was of a man concerned both with his appearance and his portrayal by the media.
His surroundings appeared spartan and his electronic equipment outdated in the hideout that also had no telephone or internet connections. In one video he sits in shadow while wrapped in a brown blanket and wearing a wool cap, watching a small, old-fashioned television elevated on wooden boards while multiple cords dangle next to it
Bin Laden holds a remote control in his right hand and flips between channels, at least one of which featured his picture with Arabic writing underneath.
In other videos, none of which had audio, he appears in more formal garb, his beard dyed black and trimmed and appears to be delivering - or at least rehearsing - speeches. One was believed to have been recorded last October or November, a senior US intelligence official told reporters at the Department of Defence.
In releasing the "home movies," senior US intelligence officials also said it was clear bin Laden was not just a figurehead for al Qaida and that he directed tactical details and encouraged plotting.
"He was far from a figurehead, he was an active player," one official said.
CIA Director Leon Panetta said, "The material found in the compound only further confirms how important it was to go after bin Laden. Since 9/11, this is what the American people have expected of us. In this critical operation, we delivered."
Panetta added the mission was "a model of seamless collaboration, both within the intelligence community and with the US military."
Bin Laden was killed in his hideout in a precision raid by a team of US Navy SEALs who left with his body - later buried at sea - and the cache of electronic disks, drives and other documents.
President Barack Obama met with the SEAL team that carried out the mission but the name of only one member has been revealed thus far: Cairo, a dog trained to sniff out hidden danger. Source : HeraldSun