Osama bin Laden’s personal collection of hundreds of audio tapes, obtained by CNN from neighbors of the Bin Laden, reveals sometimes interesting, sometimes mundane details about his everyday life. As the Chronicle of Higher Education details, the FBI decided they contained no relevent security information, and the 1,500 tapes are now being translated by linguistic anthropologist Flagg Miller. He finds bin Laden’s poetic skills disturbingly good:
On the tapes, the world’s most-wanted terrorist can be heard speaking at a wedding and, in another case, reading his own poetry. In his poems, Mr. bin Laden paints himself as a cosmic warrior, transcending time and distance, slaughtering infidels in the ninth century. He’s a good poet, Mr. Miller says, though that fact troubles him, the idea that poetry could be a vehicle for such ugly, violent thoughts.