Fox News on May 21, 2015, reported that the English-language bookshelf in Usama bin Laden’s personal library featured a collection of anti-U.S. polemics and left-wing conspiracy theories from some celebrated darlings of American academia, according to critics who analyzed the terror mastermind’s reading list. Excerpts below:
Anti-American conspiracy tomes on everything from the CIA to the Federal Reserve were among the 39 English books seized from the Al Qaeda leader’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where a team of Navy SEALs took him out in May 2011.
“It’s … not nearly as ideological in its anti-Westernism as you would find in many U.S. college social science courses.”
– Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson
“Bin Laden’s bookshelf showed a generous tolerance for bad prose and an undergraduate’s faith in bad ideas,” said retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a Fox News contributor and author of nine non-fiction works and more than 20 novels. “With his career as a master terrorist in decline, he would have made a popular Ivy League professor: a great opportunity missed.”
The Bin Laden books were listed among some 103 documents, including newspaper clippings and Arabic-language works, declassified Wednesday by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence and released under the title, “Bin Laden’s bookshelf.”
Noam Chomsky, William Blum and Bob Woodward appeared to be among the terrorist kingpin’s favorite authors to curl up with. Chomsky, the liberal icon and MIT professor known for his disparaging view of the U.S., had two of his works in the Bin Laden collection, “Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies” and “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance.”
It was already known that bin Laden was a big fan of Blum, a onetime State Department employee who became disillusioned during the Vietnam War and became a harsh critic of U.S. foreign policy. Blum’s “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” and “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II” were recovered from Bin Laden’s compound.