The Al Qaeda Video Library

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Seventeen hours on the back roads of Afghanistan led CNN to a stash of videotapes, perhaps Osama bin Laden’s personal archive. One analyst dubs it “Terrorism 101,” lessons in Assassination, Bomb Building, and Kidnapping.

The headline tape, the TV lead, shows a dying dog, apparently gassed in a chemical weapon test. And once again, questions abound. What do they know? What will they do? What’s to be done? It seems an insight into the scope and status of Al Qaeda as of September 2001, a rolling snapshot of the group’s self-image and vision.

There’s also reason to ask if the video trove itself may serve as propaganda for a group that’s been able again and again to outwit the world’s intelligence agencies. Fast forwarding Osama, and his own dogs of war.


Jim Walsh, expert on chemical and biological weapons at Harvard’s JFK School of Government

Judith Miller, reporter for the New York Times

Rohan Gunaratna, author of “Inside Al-Qaeda.”