Osama bin Laden raid: Edward Snowden has released top-secret U.S. intelligence classified documents which reveal that the “U.S. commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden was guided from space by a fleet of satellites, which aimed dozens of receivers over Pakistan to collect a torrent of electronic and signals intelligence as the mission unfolded,” reported The Washington Post on Aug. 29, 2013.
The secret details revealed about the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the Osama bin Laden raid were included in classified documents that Edward Snowden provided to The Washington Post. The classified documents covered the fiscal 2013 “black budget” for U.S. intelligence agencies like the NSA and the CIA. The so-called “black budget” is the secret portion of the federal budget dedicated to intelligence gathering and analysis.
According to the “black budget” which was published by The Washington Post, the CIA received $14.7 billion, the NSA $10.8 billion, and the National Reconnaissance Office $10.3 billion.
“The summary provides a detailed look at how the U.S. intelligence community has been reconfigured by the massive infusion of resources that followed the 2001 attacks. The United States has spent more than $500 billion on intelligence during that period, an outlay that U.S. officials say has succeeded in its main objective: preventing another catastrophic terrorist attack in the United States.”
Before releasing and publishing any of the information to the media, The Washington Post confirmed with government officials that none of the information would jeopardize national security.
The top-secret documents provided to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden made only brief references to the Osama bin Laden capture since many of the events were already described in an Osama bin Laden raid video in 2011. According to an Edward Snowden timeline, Edward Snowden has been in Russia since June 23.
In order to hunt Osama bin Laden and to successfully conduct the Osama bin Laden raid, the U.S. government employed virtually every tool in its enormous surveillance apparatus to locate bin Laden.
Since 9/11, Osama bin Laden was able to elude being found by avoiding any kind of electronic mail. “He steadfastly avoided phones and e-mail, relying on face-to-face communications with a few couriers and middlemen.”
What Osama bin Laden was not able to elude was being detected from space and an advanced stealth drone, the RQ-170, which flew over Pakistan to eavesdrop on electronic transmissions. “Also playing a role in the search for bin Laden was an arm of the NSA known as the Tailored Access Operations group. Among other functions, the group specializes in surreptitiously installing spyware and tracking devices on targeted computers and mobile-phone networks.”
In addition to being hunted from space and via the internet, the CIA recruited a Pakistani doctor and other public health workers on the ground to try to obtain blood samples from people living in the Abbottabad compound as part of a vaccination program.
Before the Osama bin Laden raid, satellites over Pakistan collected any electronic and signals intelligence. Despite the guarded communications among al-Qaeda operatives, the NSA was able to penetrate mobile phone calls. One of the phones provided the CIA with the geographic location of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was hiding.
During the Osama bin Laden raid, the U.S. commando that killed Osama bin Laden was guided from space by a fleet of satellites which aimed dozens of receivers over Pakistan "to collect a torrent of electronic and signals intelligence" as the mission unfolded, according to the top-secret U.S. intelligence document provided by Edward Snowden.
According to the detailed documents, eight hours after the Osama bin Laden raid, "a forensic intelligence laboratory run by the Defense Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan had analyzed DNA from bin Laden’s corpse and ‘provided a conclusive match’ confirming his identity.”
The Osama bin Laden raid “is portrayed as a singular example of counterterrorism cooperation among the U.S. government’s numerous intelligence agencies.”