- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., will post on its website at 9 a.m. Thursday documents seized last year by Navy SEALs from Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan after they had killed the al Qaeda leader.

The publication of the terror network’s documents comes amid criticism that President Obama is politicizing the one-year anniversary of bin Laden’s death for political gain.

A spokesman for the Office of Director for National Intelligence said Wednesday that the timing of the release of documents is not linked to the anniversary of bin Laden’s death.

“Identifying the documents, declassifying the document analyzing and reviewing the documents required considerable time since they were obtained a year ago,” spokesman Michael Birmingham said.

He said that time was needed to transcribe the 17 documents, which will be posted in English and Arabic.

Mr. Birmingham said the director for national intelligence decided to pass the documents to West Point to review and post “because of its ability to publish expert commentary and analysis by subject matter experts alongside the documents, because of their previous experience with analyzing and posting captured battlefield documents.”

The documents were selected by a U.S. inter-agency government group and vetted to make sure there was no operationally sensitive information posted, the spokesman said.

Last Friday, a senior U.S. intelligence official told reporters the documents provide an unfiltered look at what was going on in al Qaeda and “tremendous insights on al Qaeda’s strategy and the personalities that will likely remain useful for years to come.”