New details about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden have been revealed in classified documents obtained by the Washington Post from Edward Snowden
Bin Laden, who eluded American intelligence officials for nearly a decade after 9/11, did so by keeping a famously low electronic profile and avoiding drones.
The U.S. found him by NSA tracking of calling patterns of al-Qaeda operatives. CIA analysts then tied the geographic location of one of the phones to the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Here are a few other revelations:
- In the months prior to the raid, U.S. spy satellites collected high-resolution and infrared images of the compound — intelligence that was “critical to prepare for the mission and contributed to the decision to approve execution.”
- Despite the resources dispatched by the intelligence network to catch bin Laden, at the time of the raid, there was only a 40-60% confidence level that he was there.
- A forensic intelligence laboratory in Afghanistan confirmed bin Laden’s identity via a DNA test within hours of the conclusion of the raid.
- In September 2011 U.S. intelligence agencies spent $US2.5 million in emergency funds to buy 36 computer workstations and pay overtime to forensic examiners, linguists and “triage personnel” to sift through a backlog of computer files and other evidence recovered from bin Laden’s hideout.
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