Osama Bin Laden Liked To Read 9/11 Conspiracy Books


Newly released documents recovered from the home where Osama bin Laden hid until being killed in May 2011 by Seal Team Six reveal that the al Qaeda leader had some interesting reading habits:

In his final hours, Osama bin Laden surrounded himself with conspiracy theories, U.S. government documents and even video game guides.

The Obama administration on Wednesday released an extensive list of materials collected by Navy SEALs during the 2011 raid that killed the al Qaeda leader.

Among the hundreds of sensitive communiques, messages and extremist literature was a surprising collection of English-language materials, including books about the Illuminati, a 2003 book by political activist Noam Chomsky and even a game guide for the 2009 first person shooter “Delta Force: Extreme 2.”

Also among the books was David Ray Griffin’s New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, which suggests the government was complicit in the 2001 attacks that bin Laden carried out.

The documents, some of which might have been used by others in bin Laden’s compound, paint a revealing portrait of the al Qaeda leader in his final moments and come amid new scrutiny of the 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, following reports that the Obama administration might have been lying about details of the terrorist leader’s death.

Multiple conspiracy theory books were found in the compound when U.S. forces descended in the night to kill bin Laden, the Obama administration revealed. So was veteran journalist Bob Woodard’s Obama’s Wars and the government’s9/11 Commission Report, produced in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks.

“In terms of the materials that are there, some of the things that we’ve found to be of note were that bin Laden was probably an avid conspiracy theorist,” a senior intelligence official told BuzzFeed News. “Of the 38 full length English language books he had in his possession, about half of them were conspiracy theory books.”

Maybe he was trying to convince himself he didn’t do it.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Liberal Capitalist says:


    That is the most interesting example of something going full circle that I have ever heard

    The guy that planned and executed 9-11 ends up reading conspiracy theory books that suggest that others in the USA were complacent.

    He must have been laughing his ass off.

    Imagine: ” Hey guys… get THIS one… They think a plane wasn’t enough to take down a building! What a bunch of maroons!”

  2. grumpy realist says:

    Well, considering that they grabbed articles from the JIR (Journal of Irreproducible Research), Osama may have believed them….

  3. Kylopod says:

    It’s a bit more complicated. One of the commonest form of the truther theory is that the US government knew about the imminent attack and allowed it to happen. Also, there was a common anti-Semitic variant alleging that Jews knew about the attack and avoided going into the WTC that day. Al Qaeda would still be responsible in both those scenarios–there would just be US and Israeli intelligence that found out about it in advance and chose to do nothing to stop it.

    Those are all the sorts of claims I could see Bin Laden having believed.

  4. george says:

    Possibly for the same reason that Obama will probably enjoy reading Birther articles, and some astronauts get a kick out of reading faked moon landing commentaries – hotly held opinions that you know are false can be very amusing.