Osama bin Laden remained a key power within the al-Qaeda terror network, a senior U.S. intelligence official told reporters at the Pentagon, following the release of new home videos of the recently murdered bin Laden.
The official noted that bin Laden supervised strategy and operations from his bunker compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The compound served as an active command and control center.
He [bin Laden] was far from a figurehead, he was an active player, the official said.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials are looking at computers, DVDs, hard drives and documents that were taken from the Abbottabad home, a haul they are describing as a treasure trove of terrorist intelligence.
The examination of the intelligence materials seized at the compound will reportedly be jointly undertaken by the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Centre for Terrorism.
The released videos indicate that bin Laden had a computer in his house, although Pakistani officials earlier said he had no internet or phone service.
This raises the possibility that perhaps the videos were not recorded at the Abbottabad compound.
Also, the video clips suggest, the Pentagon claims, that bin Laden was vain and very concerned with how he was portrayed by global media. They point to the facts that he appeared to have put on make-up and dyed his beard.
The videos apparently have no sound, and some of the images are fuzzy.
Wayne Madsen, an investigative journalist told Al Jazeera from Washington DC: There are going to be many more questions raised after the release of these videos, because there have been videos and images in the past that were thought to be of bin Laden, but some of those turned out to be fake.
Moreover, a senior U.S. intelligence official told media that al-Qaeda is likely demoralized by the loss of their leader.
It is noteworthy that the group did not announce a new leader, suggesting it is still trying to deal with Bin Laden's demise, he said.
Separately, Pakistani officials have told BBC that bin Laden’s Yemeni wife (who survived the attack on the compound) informed them that her husband had recovered from kidney ailments.
A senior Pakistani government figure also told BBC that Islamabad did not receive any extradition request from Washington regarding the Yemeni wife.