Terror mastermind led the plan behind the 9/11 attacks and other major atrocities around the world
TERROR mastermind Osama Bin Laden was the world’s most wanted man before his death in May 2011.
The al-Qaeda leader had been in hiding for years after he plotted the 9/11 attacks — but how did he die and what do CIA files reveal about him?
Who killed Osama Bin Laden?
Bin Laden was shot in the head during a dramatic raid by US special forces in the early hours of May 2 2011.
The 54-year-old bearded killer was gunned down by Navy SEAL Team 6 — an elite unit known for its ruthlessness and bravery — in what was dubbed Operation Geronimo.
SEAL Rob O’Neill claimed to have fired the killing shot on the terror kingpin, who had been taken off guard at his Pakistan hideout.
Months of CIA surveillance had discovered Bin Laden was holed up in a remote compound in Abbottabad.
He had been living behind walls 18ft high topped with razor wire. Couriers brought him everything he and his family needed to survive and there were no phone lines into the property.
Intelligence was presented to then-President Barack Obama, who ordered the daring helicopter raid.
The operation was launched despite President Obama’s military and intelligence chiefs being unable to say for certain whether Bin Laden was inside the compound.
One of the four choppers used to swoop on the compound crashed as it entered, but such was the speed of the assault that no SEALs were injured in the 40-minute Operation.
Two bodyguards, a woman and one of his sons were shot and killed before Bin Laden was found.
He was shot in front of his screaming wife as he attempted to flee.
The body of the al-Qaeda mastermind was buried at sea quickly – under Islamic custom the dead must be buried within 24 hours.
In a televised address on the night of the raid, President Obama said: “I can report to the American people and the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.”
Thousands poured onto the streets of American cities to celebrate the victory.
The search and operation was turned into a Hollywood film starring Jessica Chastain.
What did the CIA files taken from Bin Laden reveal?
Bin Laden kept a vast collection of documents, recordings and footage at his compound.
The Sun revealed he amassed clippings of Prince Harry’s planned deployment to Iraq when he was a serving soldier.
Terrorism analyst Bill Roggio, who had been lobbying for the release of the bombshell files since 2011 said: “Without a doubt it shows Prince Harry was a target for Al-Qaeda – they were gunning for him – and also when he was deployed to Afghanistan.
“The Taliban were gunning for him and Al-Qaeda were gunning for him.”
Incredible Osama Bin Laden home videos released by CIA show Al-Qaeda mastermind’s kids playing with animals and guns
A slew of files released on 1 November 2017 included videos, letters, images and audio files found on computers at the Abbottabad base.
They include incredible home footage showing the Bin Laden children playing with farm animals and guns – as well as funny viral videos and cartoons.
The trove of files – which included episodes of documentary A History Of Britain, copies of Wallace And Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death, and Shaun The Sheep: A Woolly Good Time – also reveal how the sick jihadist was obsessed with British culture.
He also had a video of Queen Elizabeth II listening to a reading of the Koran.
Other movies found included Resident Evil, Cars, Antz and Chicken Little.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo described the release as an “opportunity for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of this terrorist organisation”.
Bin Laden’s reportedly extensive porn collection has not been released – with the CIA stating they withheld “materials protected by copyright; pornography; malware; and blank, corrupted and duplicate files”.