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Videos Chip Into Bin Laden's 'Mystique'; Focus Continues On Pakistan's Role

A still image from video released Saturday (May 7, 2011) by the US Department of Defense shows Osama bin Laden.
AFP/Getty Images
A still image from video released Saturday (May 7, 2011) by the US Department of Defense shows Osama bin Laden.

Rounding up some of the latest developments related to last week's U.S. raid that ended with the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden:

-- "Videos Pull Back Curtain On Bin Laden's Hidden Life": As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, videos released by the Pentagon over the weekend may chip away at the mystique surrounding bin Laden.

She writes that "the videos show bin Laden threatening America, condemning the evils of capitalism and, in the longest clip, watching coverage of himself on television. The video clips were presented without audio, but they were clearly chosen to show bin Laden in a bad light."

On Morning Edition, journalist Steve Coll told host Renee Montagne that the videos and other materials seized from bin Laden's compound suggest he was using the same types of channels to send messages out to the world to also communicate with al-Qaida members about terrorist operations.

Coll, a staff writer at The New Yorker, wrote the book The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century.

-- "Bin Laden Aided By Rogue Or Retired Elements Of Pakistani Intelligence, Government Official Says": "A senior official in Pakistan's civilian government" tells ABC News that "elements of Pakistan intelligence — probably rogue or retired — were involved in aiding, abetting and sheltering the leader of al Qaeda."

-- Obama Didn't Tell Pakistan Because "I Sure As Heck Am Not Going To Be Revealing It To Folks Who I Don't Know": Pressed during his interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes about why the U.S. did not tell Pakistani authorities that it was going to raid bin Laden's compound, President Obama said that "I didn't tell most people here in the White House. I didn't tell my own family. It was that important for us to maintain operational security. ... If I'm not revealing to some of my closest aides what we're doing, then I sure as heck am not going to be revealing it to folks who I don't know."

-- Pakistan Media Report Alleged Name Of CIA Official: "Pakistani media have reported what they say is the name of the CIA station chief in Islamabad — the second such potential outing of a sensitive covert operative in six months, and one that comes with tensions running high over the U.S. raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden. The Associated Press has learned that the name being reported is incorrect. Still, the publication of any alleged identity of the U.S. spy agency's top official in this country could be pushback from Pakistan's powerful military and intelligence establishment, which was humiliated over the surprise raid on its soil, and could further sour relations between Washington and Islamabad."

[Note: NPR follows Associated Press style on the spelling of bin Laden's name. Other news organizations use different spellings.]

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.