The death of Osama bin Laden: How the U.S. got him
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The death of Osama bin Laden: How the U.S. got him

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The death of Osama bin Laden: How the U.S. got him

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The death of Osama bin Laden: How the U.S. got him
Mon. May 2, 2011
By
Laura Rozen
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theenvoy/20110502/ts_yblog_theenvoy/the-death-of-osama-bin-
laden-how-the-u-s-got-him
President Barack Obama gave the final sign-off on
Friday for the forty-minute operation that killed al
Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden on Sunday.
The action took place in a compound in
Abbottabad, an affluent Pakistani military town just
thirty miles away from the Pakistani capital
Islamabad, U.S. officials said.
Despite the apparent rapid turnaround for the
operation, the raid on the compound was the result
of an intensive, multi-year, bipartisan, cross-agency
effort, senior U.S. officials stressed in a phone call
with journalists Sunday night. Officials called it the most important victory yet in the
world's fight against al Qaeda, but noted Bin Laden's death will not bring about an
immediate end to the heightened terrorism risk the United States has faced since the
attacks of September 11, 2001.
"Without a doubt, the U.S. will continue to face terrorist threats. We have always
understood this is a marathon not a sprint," a senior U.S. official told journalists shortly
after Obama addressed the nation with the news of Bin Laden's death. Still, the official
noted that Bin Laden's death "is the single biggest victory" in the war against terrorism to
date, "and a major step in bringing about al Qaeda's eventual destruction." (You can
watch President Obama's description of the operation in the video clip above, courtesy of
the AP.)
In their initial reconstruction of the dramatic raid, the officials explained that the United
States got intelligence four years ago about the identity of a particular al Qaeda courier
who enjoyed Bin Laden's trust and confidence. After months of painstaking effort by the
CIA, National Security Agency, and other national security agencies, the U.S.
government was eventually able to track this courier, as well as his brother, and further
determined that the two brothers seemed to be sharing their residence with another family
of extremely high importance to al Qaed
U.S. officials said they were stunned to discover the extreme security measures in play at
the compound. It was surrounded by walls between 12 and 18 feet high, topped with
barbed wire; there were also interior security walls; and it was eight time larger than
other residences in the area. What's more, officials on Sunday's call explained, the
families living on the compound burned their trash, while all the other households in the
area put their trash out for collection on the curb.