On Wednesday, the Central Intelligence Agency released nearly half a million files recovered from the 2011 raid that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
While researchers are still ploughing through the massive pile of data, some fascinating titbits have already surfaced about the life of Bin Laden and the networks of the international organisation he had established. These revelations include new evidence confirming the global terror organisation maintained ties with the Iranian regime throughout the years.
In particular, details found in a handwritten journal he kept shed light on the ideological origins of the man who globalised Islamic jihadism in a way that nobody had before.
In the journal, Bin Laden offers answers to a series of questions about the ideas and movements that influenced him. For example, he lists the Muslim Brotherhood as an organisation that shaped some of his thinking in the early days of his radicalisation. More astonishingly, he reveals an unexpected and hitherto unknown source of inspiration: Necmettin Erbakan, the former prime minister of Turkey who could be regarded as the father of modern Turkish Islamism.
Bin Laden's membership of the Muslim Brotherhood was first confirmed by the current leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahiri, in a video released in 2014. "Sheikh Osama Bin Laden was part of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation in the Arabian Peninsula," Zawahiri said in the video. "When the Russian invasion of Afghanistan happened, the sheikh travelled immediately to Pakistan, met the mujahideen and started helping them."