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Somebody in Osama bin Laden's compound played video games

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

During the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan, SEAL Team Six seized numerous materials from the compound after killing bin Laden. It appears that some of the residents passed the time in the remote safe house by playing video games, according to documents collected from the site that were declassified and released today by the U.S. government.

Listed among "Documents Probably Used by Other Compound Residents" is a game guide for Delta Force: Xtreme 2, a first-person shooter from California-based studio NovaLogic. A publication referred to as "Game Spot Videogame Guide" also appears in the list, with no specific video game mentioned. The archive only includes documents like books, news articles, manuals and letters, so it's unclear if copies of Delta Force: Xtreme 2 or other games were found at the house.

Delta Force: Xtreme 2 was a follow-up to 2005's Delta Force: Xtreme. The sequel was released in 2009 to middling reviews that criticized its outdated graphics and poor AI. Xtreme 2's multiplayer component, which was billed as supporting up to 150-player battles, fared better than its single-player campaign in reviews. But the 22 residents of bin Laden's compound wouldn't have been able to play that mode anyway — U.S. intelligence indicated that no telephone or internet cables ran into the site.

For more on the newly released documents from "Bin Ladin's Bookshelf," as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence calls it, check out's report on Al-Qaeda's banal, bizarrely corporate job application form.

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