A trove of declassified files and documents that were obtained during bin Laden’s assassination appear to have vanished from the CIA’s official website, where they were originally published.
The collection of some 470,000 declassified documents that used to belong to the infamous leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, became unavailable for browsing on Thursday, November 2, after it was published on the CIA’s official website a day earlier.
According to Buzzfeed, a spokesperson for the CIA’s Office of Media Affairs said Friday that this development was the result of a technical error that would soon be rectified. However, the office did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday as the archive still appears to be down.
“It could be technical, or it could be that they discovered something that shouldn’t have been released and are re-scrubbing,” former CIA analyst Ned Price told the news agency, adding that the fact that the archive has been down for days is “very strange.”
Internet Archive curator Jason Scott pointed out however that the problem might’ve been caused by the fact that the CIA website was simply unprepared for the strain caused by a large number of people attempting to peruse such a large fileset (some 332 GB).
“I will tell you that when the CIA (or most companies) put out a larger dataset of any amount (even as ‘small’ as a few hundred megs) and it in any way goes viral, especially in a media link, it will often just crush their infrastructure,” Scott said.
Osama bin Laden, the infamous terrorist mastermind and leader of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, was assassinated by a US special forces team on May 2, 2011 in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.