EXCLUSIVE - Pornography found in bin Laden hideout - U.S. officials

WASHINGTON Fri May 13, 2011 9:54pm IST

Osama bin Laden is shown pointing in this video frame grab released by the U.S. Pentagon May 7, 2011. REUTERS/Pentagon/Handout

Osama bin Laden is shown pointing in this video frame grab released by the U.S. Pentagon May 7, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Pentagon/Handout

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said on Friday.

The pornography recovered in bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who discussed the discovery with Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The officials said they were not yet sure precisely where in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been viewing it. Specifically, the officials said they did not know if bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials.

Reports from Abbottabad have said that bin Laden's compound was cut off from the Internet or other hard-wired communications networks. It is unclear how compound residents would have acquired the pornography.

But a video released by the Obama administration confiscated from the compound showed bin Laden watching pictures of himself on a TV screen, indicating that the compound was equipped with video playback equipment.

Materials carted away from the compound by the U.S. commandos included digital thumb drives, which U.S. officials believe may have been a principal means by which couriers carried electronic messages to and from the late al Qaeda leader.

Three other U.S. officials familiar with evidence gathered during investigations of other Islamic militants said the discovery of pornography is not uncommon in such cases.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Tabassum Zakaria; editing by Warren Strobel)

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