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Bin Laden documents include terrorist application

A translated copy of an application to join Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.AP

Documents seized from Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s compound during the raid in which he was killed include a fill-in-the-blanks job application for terrorist candidates that ranges from typical questions about education and hobbies to ‘‘Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?’’

The material was recovered in the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said. It said it was being made public after a rigorous review by government agencies, as required by a 2014 law.

The Al Qaeda job application that begins with the mundane, asking applicants to ‘‘please write clearly and legibly.’’


It asks conventional questions, such as has the applicant ever been convicted of a crime, before veering into more chilling territory, including: ‘‘What objectives would you like to accomplish on your jihad path?’’

Other questions include:

—"Any hobbies or pastimes?’’

—"What is your favorite material: science or literature?’’

—"Date of your arrival in the land of Jihad’’

—"Have you ever been convicted by any court?’’ When and for what offense?

—"Do you have any chronic or hereditary diseases?’’

—"Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?’’

—"Who should we contact in case you become a martyr?’’ Provide address and phone numbers.

Other documents released Wednesday who that during his years in hiding, bin Laden wrote bittersweet letters to one of his wives and his children.

In one letter, bin Laden urges one of his deputies to inform ‘‘our brothers’’ they must keep their focus on fighting Americans. Their ‘‘job is to uproot the obnoxious tree by concentrating on its American trunk, and to avoid being occupied with the local security forces,’’ bin Laden writes.

Another bin Laden letter mocks President George W. Bush’s ‘‘war on terror,’’ saying it had not achieved stability in Iraq or Afghanistan and questioning why US troops were ‘‘searching for the lost phantom’’ — weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. No date is included on the US translation.


In a video letter to one of his wives, also described as bin Laden’s ‘‘last will,’’ he says, ‘‘Know that you do fill my heart with love, beautiful memories, and your longsuffering of tense situations in order to appease me and be kind to me.’’

US officials had said at the time of his death that they believed bin Laden had become so isolated in his hideout that he no longer exercised the level of control over Al Qaeda operations that he had in the past.

Read the terrorist application below: