When not listening to Islamic anthems, the only pop music Osama Bin Laden listened to was that of a Jewish French musician who loved Israel.
In a report by the BBC earlier in the week, Flagg Miller, an Arabic culture and literature expert, discussed his analysis of the collection 1,500 of cassettes found at Bin Laden’s abandoned compound in Kandahar, Afghanistan, including the music of Enrico Macias, an Algerian-born French singer.
Macias gained worldwide fame in the ’60s and ’70s. He was especially beloved in Israel, where he performed several times throughout the years and often expressed his love for the IDF.
“These songs suggest that that someone, at some point in their life, was enjoying the songs of this Algerian Jew – and may have continued to enjoy them despite other struggles that clearly would have suggested doing so was heresy,” Miller said.
He added that the Macias’s music showed how people in Kandahar were cultured and spoke a number of languages. “Many had lived in the West for long periods and it can’t be said enough that they had led multiple lives,” says Miller.
The collection of recordings were discovered shortly after the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
Bin Laden fled his Khandahar compound immediately, leaving behind the collection of discussions, speeches, battle recordings and religious music.
According to the report, the tapes were originally sold to a cassette store in the area and were intended to be recorded over with modern pop music, something that was banned for many years under the Taliban. However, a CNN cameraman convinced the store owner against this.