Photo credit: Michael Hnatov
Accession Number: C.2019.61.1
Dimensions: 13 in X 9.75 in X 0.25 in
Dimensions (Metric): 33.02 cm X 24.765 cm X 0.635 cm
Credit Line: Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum
Where's Bin Laden? And Many Others...
Satirical book titled Where's Bin Laden? And Many Others... with illustrations by Daniel Lalic. The book is modeled after the popular children's books Where's Waldo. The character, in this case, Osama bin Laden is depicted, hidden among dense cartoon-style illustrations representing a range of global locations.
Five years before Operation Neptune Spear answered the question posed in its title and taking loose inspiration from the immensely successful “Where’s Waldo” children’s picture book series, Where’s Bin Laden is a tongue-in-cheek romp through a topic of intense international security concern. In an introductory note labeled “Top Secret,” the author and illustrator state that since the combination of the CIA, Interpol, the US National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency have spent “zillions of dollars and still haven’t had any luck so far, now it’s up to us to find the world’s number one most wanted man.” Clues are then offered to the reader about what to look for as he/she travels the globe courtesy of the densely illustrated, action-packed pages that follow. Stop off points for OBL and his terrorist posse include fantasized hide-outs in France, England, Spain, the Netherlands, Egypt, Bali, China, Australia, the USA (both east and west coasts), Canada and Afghanistan, with recognizable landmarks and regional activities sprinkled into the mix. For instance, the New York City chapter imagines Bin Laden as plotting mayhem at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The book’s dark humor is clearly pitched at young adult and adult readers. Issued around the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it conveys the public’s general puzzlement over Bin Laden’s whereabouts while also highlighting some of the simplistic popular assumptions about where and how to find him.