'Extensive' porn stash: Three ways US has tried to sully bin Laden's image

For years, Osama bin Laden has been portrayed as the world’s worst terrorist – mastermind of the deaths of thousands of people, including nearly 3,000 on US soil in 9/11. Since US Navy SEALs killed him last week, however, the image of the Al Qaeda leader – now a martyr to his followers – has taken several calculated hits. Here are three attempts by the Obama administration to recast the perception of Mr. bin Laden.

1. Porn collection

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    This undated image of Osama bin Laden is taken from video released by the US Department of Defense on Saturday.
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Officials revealed Friday that among the computers and other electronic storage devices found in bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was a stash of pornography described as “extensive” in several news reports.

Although bin Laden did not have access to the Internet, his couriers brought him flash drives, computer disks, and other recorded messages.

As reported by Reuters, officials are not yet sure where in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been viewing it – specifically whether or not bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials.

But the implication is there, and it does the terrorist mastermind’s image no good – particularly in a part of the world (and in a movement) marked by conservative traditions and attitudes toward sex.

The release of the videos and photographs of bin Laden, together with the growing list of his personal character quirks are "part of the US government's effort to discredit him after his death so … he doesn't become a martyr in the eyes of the Arab youth," former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke told ABC News.

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