Authors react to being on Bin Laden's reading list

  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday released a list of 39 English-language books recovered during the 2011 Navy SEAL raid of the compound in Pakistan where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was living.

    The wide-ranging selection includes books ranging from well-known nonfiction to academic tomes to works derided as conspiracy theories. Several are critical of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

    "The enemy reads what we write, they listen to what we say, they try to gain insights all the time," said CBS News Senior National Security Analyst Juan Zarate. "Bin Laden very much saw himself as a strategic leader of this global jihadi movement fighting a historic battle against the remaining superpower in the world, the United States, and so he wanted to understand as much as possible what made the United States work. He wanted to understand its vulnerabilities."

    CBS News took a closer look at some of the more notable books on the list - and asked some authors what they thought of their inclusion on bin Laden's reading list.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for