Why you should dig into Bin Laden’s computer files

By Stepha Poulin and By Stepha Poulin

Recently, some of the files on Osama Bin Laden’s computer have been released to the public. The contents are pretty hilarious – but should we really be surprised?

There are several viral videos and tons of pop-culture content littered throughout the files, like “Charlie Bit My Finger,” crocheting tutorials, “Final Fantasy VII” and three documentaries about himself. Much of the content is not being released to the public. According to the CIA, those files are either corrupted or pornographic.

If someone were to take your computer, would there be similar things? There probably would be, even if you’re (most likely) not a terrorist mastermind.

I’ll be the first to admit I wouldn’t want my computer files to be released to the world. Osama Bin Laden doesn’t deserve privacy by any means, but this is my point: terrorists are people too, even as evil and vitriolic as they are.

We shouldn’t forget the horrible atrocities Bin Laden was involved in, and though it is okay to find the contents of his computer funny, we need to look at the bigger picture.

Bin Laden was a terrorist for a reason. He had some qualities that the average person might relate to. To me, the news about Bin Laden’s files makes me think about how terrorists are created, and how tyrannical ideologies form.

There are plenty of files on his computer that aren’t funny. The files show how vile his viewpoints were. When reading these files, it’s important to remember these viewpoints did not die with Bin Laden. They live on through his followers and other terrorist organizations throughout the world.

“We must not get overwhelmed by the war, its atmosphere, conditions, hatreds and revenge that might mislead us,” he wrote in a letter about the Islamic State, who were going against his wishes for al-Qaeda.

According to the BBC, Bin Laden also spent time studying the United States’ plans in the Middle East.

“He spent time trying to understand US strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq and had parts of the investigative journalist Bob Woodward’s book “Obama’s Wars” translated for him.”

Plans for a “9-11 Anniversary” were also found on his computer. There were not any plans for an attack found, but he planned to flood the media with reminders about the attack.

While the funny parts of these files are interesting and entertaining to look through, we need to look at the “boring” content too. It will help us understand why, and how, these people behave the way they do. It may scare you, unlike imagining a terrorist watch “Finding Nemo,” but it’s more respectable than ignoring the truth.