Did Osama Bin Laden play Tiberian Sun?

I had a go at the remade computer game Command & Conquer, and my, was it difficult. Mostly because of the clunky controls. A walkthrough felt like a most welcome item, but when googling it, one of the hits came across as slightly more perplexing than the others. I was perfectly aware of the CIA gathering military intelligence. That said intelligence extends to future, fictional wars with weapons like the «devil’s tongue» and «obelisk of light» is a whole other story.

The fact of the matter is nonetheless: In the CIA Library is now found a full, 113-page game guide to the 1999 real-time strategy computer game Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun.

When looking at the URL, it is revealed that the walkthrough is a subset of a CIA Library section called the «Abbottabad Compound» . Wasn’t Abbottabad the place of residence for Osama Bin Laden? Why, yes, and the index page of the «Abbottabad Compound» states that every file therein was recovered from the very compound of Bin Laden. «In an effort to further enhance public understanding of al-Qa’ida», these files are now posted online, replete with warnings about «disturbing» content.

This means that according to the CIA, Bin Laden was in possession of Gamespot’s game guide to TibSun. Were there hobby C&C players in his inner circle? Or was the game played for research purposes, jotting down tips and tricks for futuristic warfare?

At least, the guide ends with a poignant tip which actuallyis strikingly pertinent to Bin Laden’s bellicose methodology: «Finally, some quick reminders: remember to scout ahead, remember to break down each objective into a series of smaller goals, know that there’s no shame in temporarily retreating, and take the time to assess what losses would hurt your enemy most. If you can remember these things, you’re well your way to becoming a legendary force for either good… or evil. (Heh-heh-heh.)» Yes, really!

The file is a digital file without traces of scanning. To make this story complete it would have to have been a paper version, replete with notes, circles, boxes and arrows pointing to the most eye-catching findings in Al-Qaida’s view.

This is the URL, and below is an embedded version of the PDF: https://www.cia.gov/library/abbottabad-compound/57/5790FAA57774FEE1A19C21F3F98FD10D_Tiberian_Sun_Guide.pdf

Publisert av Morten Haave

Jeg er historiker og interessert i mye. Etter masterstudiet (UiO, 2012) begynte jeg med redaksjonsarbeid, hvor det var jeg faktisk lærte hvordan man former en artikkel. Nå går det også i essays, bokanmeldelser, journalistiske tekster, leksikalske oppføringer, korttekster, argumenterende tekster – og musikk. Jeg skriver gjerne oppdragshistorie.

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