Wednesday, May 04, 2011

More Details Emerge on Raid That Killed Bin Laden

More details continue to emerge about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the kind of information obtained. Apparently bin Laden had cash and phone numbers sewn into his clothes in order to be able to make a quick getaway should he be cornered.
Osama bin Laden had 500 Euros in cash and two telephone numbers sewn into his clothing when he was killed, CBS News has confirmed.

The news was first reported by Politico Wednesday. It was unclear whether the money was denominated in Euros or another currency, but the revelation seems to indicate that the al Qaeda leader was prepared to flee in the event of a raid like the U.S. military strike in which he was killed on Sunday.

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

The details come from officials who attended a classified intelligence briefing on Capitol Hill.

"CIA Director Leon Panetta told lawmakers about the items found in bin Laden's clothing in response to a question about why he wasn't guarded by more security personnel at his relatively luxurious home in a military town north of Islamabad," Politico reported. "The answer, according to one source who attended the briefing: Bin Laden believed "his network was strong enough he'd get a heads-up" before any U.S. strike against him."
You can be sure that the US is going to track down those phone numbers although al Qaeda has likely disposed of those phones. Those numbers will still be extremely useful in clawing back through bin Laden's movements and confirming other intel gathered over the past several years.

The cache of documents, computer files, and other information will yield much about al Qaeda's ongoing operations, financial dealings, and potential terror operations that were being considered or green lighted.

Pakistani sources are attempting to give a different version of events, including intimating that the US special forces essentially executed bin Laden, which runs counter to the official US line. One has to take the Pakistani reports with more than a grain of salt as they frequently publish rumors and conspiracies as fact. Still, the official US version of events has shifted in the past several days as new details emerge.

Who owned the compound where bin Laden was killed, and what does it say about those who surrounded bin Laden all these years?
The Pakistani who owned the compound that sheltered Osama bin Laden in his final years said he was buying the property for “an uncle,” according to the doctor who sold the land in 2005.

The man was identified in property records as Mohammad Arshad; neighbors said one of two Pakistani men living in the house went by the name Arshad Khan. The two names apparently refer to the same man and both names may be fake. But one thing is clear — bin Laden relied on a small, trusted inner circle as lifelines to the outside who provided for his daily needs such as food and medicine and kept his location secret. And it appears they did not betray him.

Among those in that inner circle were Arshad and his brother. Arshad is suspected as the courier who ultimately led the Americans to bin Laden, unwittingly, after years of painstaking tracking. American officials said the courier and his brother were killed in the American commando raid Monday in the northwestern Pakistani town of Abbottabad.

The true identities of the two confidants and their exact links to other high ranking al-Qaida figures remain one of the biggest mysteries surrounding bin Laden. But more details about one of the key aides to bin Laden emerged Wednesday.

Qazi Mahfooz Ul Haq, a doctor, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he sold a plot of land to Arshad in 2005. He said the buyer was a sturdily built man who had a tuft of hair under his lower lip. He spoke with an accent that sounded like it was from Waziristan, a tribal region close to Afghanistan that is home to many al-Qaida operatives.

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