The US Government has snared a treasure trove of intelligence from five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 storage devices, swept up from the bolt hole of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.The intelligence snatch is now being described as the largest intelligence coup of the post-9/11 era with several top al Qaeda figures believed to be on the move following the snaring of over 2 terabytes of data.
According to CIA sources the Navy Seals who carried out the raid on bin Laden’s hideout carried out a specially designed Sensitive-Site Exploitation plan which saw them snare an IT treasure trove.
Sources said that the intelligence find is a jolt to bin Laden’s network that could force its terror operatives to move into areas or initiate communications that make them more easily detectable.
The Wall Street Journal said that a Central Intelligence Agency task force, has already conducted a preliminary analysis of the material, and is now hunting for leads on the location of bin Laden’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is widely expected to ascend to the top of al Qaeda, as well as information about new plots, names of other terrorists and any information about whether members of the Pakistani government helped conceal bin Laden.
“The real benefit to our security from the raid by the Navy Seals is we’ve recovered a treasure trove of intelligence that can be used to go after bad guys all over the world,” said Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat and member of the Senate’s homeland-security committee. “Our challenge now is to make the most of it and put it to the best use.”
If al Qaeda operatives begin planning retaliatory attacks, their communications could pop them on to the U.S. radar, even if they use couriers to avoid more easily detected electronic communications, officials say.