Osama bin Laden tracked Prince Harry's deployment to Iraq, CIA files reveal

Osama bin Laden tracked Prince Harry's deployment to Iraq, CIA files reveal

Osama bin Laden tracked Prince Harry’s planned deployment to Iraq, according to documents found at the al-Qaeda leader’s compound.


The al-Qaeda leader downloaded a number of documents about the royal, including news articles about his military deployment.


One was headlined: “Prince Harry moves into the line of fire”, while another read: “Prince Harry in Iraq could raise troops’ risk”.


The prince was scheduled to travel to Iraq, but officials changed their mind and he served a tour in Helmand in Afghanistan later that year.


Published by the CIA on Wednesday, the documents were among 470,000 files recovered in the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.


The agency said it released the trove “in the interest of transparency and to enhance public understanding of al-Qaeda and [bin Laden]”.


The articles were among more than 18,000 document files recovered from the property, where the al-Qaeda boss died.


A journal was also found, which appeared to reveal that bin Laden’s hatred for the West grew after a summer trip to the UK as a teenager.


When he was 13 years old, bin Laden visited Shakespeare’s birthplace and became convinced the West was “decadent”.


Among more than 10,000 video files published by the CIA is the first image of the 9/11 architect’s son as an adult. Footage of Hamza bin Laden, believed to be the Al-Qaeda boss’s favourite son and potential successor, was previously only seen in childhood photographs used as propaganda by the terror group.


The hour-long video that shows Hamza preparing for his wedding is believed to have been recorded around 10 years ago, when he was about 17 or 18 years old and living under house arrest in Iran.


The footage shows him sitting on the floor with a group of men while another man is heard chanting passages from the Quran in the background.


The documents seized from the Abbottabad property also show a complex relationship between the Sunni-dominated terror group and Iran.


Iran is run by Shia clerics and is the sworn enemy of the Sunni powers, such as Saudi Arabia, which have often been accused of funding al-Qaeda.


Critics have said a 19-page report assessing al-Qaeda’s relationship with Tehran was “evidence of Iran’s support of al Qaeda’s war with the United States”.


At various points Tehran is alleged to have offered al Qaeda help in the form of “money, arms” and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon” in exchange for attacking US and Saudi targets. Iran has firmly denied cooperating with al-Qaeda.