Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Introducing the Captured Documents Index

In advance of tomorrow's release of captured Bin Laden documents by West Point's Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), I've gone live with a Captured Documents Index that I've been compiling for while (a permanent link to it is also now on the right side of the Document Exploitation blog screen).

The Index is incomplete (many more documents to add) and it is still very much a work in progress, but the long-term intention is to provide, in one place, a list of (and, where available, links to) the wide variety of captured documents that have been released or cited publicly.  I have put it up today in the event that some of the documents (which include, among other things, copies of passports that purport to belong to Bin Laden's family, which were filed in a military commission case) might be useful in analyzing tomorrow's release of Bin Laden documents.

A few initial notes on the Index.
  • Coverage is currently limited to Harmony era (largely Iraq/Afghanistan) documents and is organized by Harmony number for reference and convenience.  The fact, therefore, that Harmony AFGP documents from Afghanistan are placed between 2RAD and BIAP documents captured in Iraq should not be read as any comment on the relationship, or lack thereof, between Saddam and al Qaeda.  For more on Harmony and its numbering system see the CMPC SOP or this Army DOCEX manual.
  • In most cases the Harmony number is a hyperlink that allows you to download the document itself from either its original online source or from a new link (for docs whose original source is more difficult to access). Sometimes there is both an Arabic document and an English translation, sometimes there is only one or the other, and sometimes there is simply a description of the document.  
  • The documents and descriptions come from a number of places including the 2006 Iraqi Freedom Doc Dump (despite the fact the portal was shut down in Nov. 2006, many of the posted docs remain available online in, among other places, the Internet Archive), West Point's CTC's Harmony Program, Guantanamo case filings, military commission filings, the five-volume "Saddam and Terrorism" study by the Institute for Defense Analyses from 2006, and other sources. Documents and descriptions are sourced both for verification purposes and to provide full credit for the individuals or organizations that posted them.
  • The Index does not (yet) include documents from the extensive collection of Iraq and Afghanistan documents at the Conflict Records Research Center (CRRC).  An index of documents in the CRRC's Saddam Hussein Collection and its Al Qaeda and Associated Movements Collection is available here and here.  The CRRC has also posted a number of documents online (see herehere and here).   
I have plans to make the Index more complete and improve it over time, but any suggestions would be gratefully received at