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Gray vs. black beard: It mattered to bin Laden, new videos show

US offers peek at 'treasure trove' of materials seized from bin Laden compound – the largest haul of 'senior terrorist materials' ever. Videos show a bin Laden careful with his public image.

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The United States military released five videos of Osama bin Laden found during last Sunday's raid. Here, the terrorist leader is shown reviewing video of himself on a television screen in his hideout in Pakistan.

Pentagon

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US officials released five videos of Osama bin Laden Saturday, part of what they called “the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever” seized.

Recovered during the Navy SEAL raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound almost one week ago, the “treasure trove” of documents, thumb drives, and videos demonstrate that the suburban house inhabited by bin Laden “was an active command and control center for Al Qaeda’s top leader,” according to a senior intelligence official, who briefed reporters on the condition that he not be named.

“He was far from a figurehead,” the official said. “He was an active player” whose role was “to encourage plotting.”

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The videos, released without audio, include the image of a gray-bearded bin Laden wrapped in a blanket, TV remote in hand, watching news footage of himself on television in a room with blacked-out curtains.

Some of the clips “are clearly outtakes,” the official said, as reporters in a Pentagon briefing room viewed images of bin Laden rehearsing his televised messages in front of a wrinkled baby-blue sheet and a large armoire believed to be located at the compound.

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