The assault force of Navy SEALs snatched a trove of computer drives and disks during their weekend raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, yielding what a U.S. official called “the mother lode of intelligence.” The special operations forces grabbed personal computers, thumb drives and electronic equipment during the lightning raid that killed bin Laden, officials told POLITICO.
“They cleaned it out,” one official said. “Can you imagine what’s on Osama bin Laden’s hard drive?”
U.S. officials are about to find out. The material is being examined at a secret location in Afghanistan.
“Hundreds of people are going through it now,” an official said, adding that intelligence operatives back in Washington are very excited to find out what they have.
“It’s going to be great even if only 10 percent of it is actionable,” the official said.
Savoring the military and intelligence triumph, officials late Monday described new details about how the mission unfolded: The SEALs took fire on their way to the compound’s third floor, where bin Laden had been sleeping, officials said. The encounter with bin Laden lasted only seconds, and ended with a kill shot to his face.
The team’s photos of bin Laden are gruesome, complicating officials’ deliberations about whether to release them. Officials also have images of bin Laden in a white shroud before his burial at sea.
Posted on May 3, 2011 by Joseph F. Clark