New documents detail the sophisticated, if only partially successful, surveillance technology used to hunt and kill the most wanted terrorist on earth.
Before the Obama administration sent Navy SEALS to raid the Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound, where Osama bin Laden was hiding, assorted government agencies deployed technologies such as stealth drones; satellites that took high-res and infrared images of the compound from space; phone tracking; and a co-opted vaccination program to hunt the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attacks, according to documents leaked by former government contractor Edward Snowden.
Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman, writing in the Washington Post, discuss the breadth of the surveillance techniques used:
So U.S. intelligence tried to get creative:
Despite all the advanced technology used in the hunt, intelligence officials only estimated a “40 percent to 60 percent” chance that bin Laden was at the Abbottabad compound. A drone strike or a bombing mission could have destroyed the compound, but it would have left no conclusive evidence that bin Laden had ever been there. Instead, Obama chose to send in Navy SEALs, both to minimize civilian casualties and to confirm that it was, in fact, bin Laden in that compound.
The full article, as well as other details disclosed in a leaked “black budget” from the intelligence community, show how modern technology can track an, ahem, Enemy of the State, but with only like 40 to 60 percent accuracy.
Powered by WPeMatico